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Worcester Division of Public Health Receives $145,000 in Grants

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

 

The Worcester Division of Public Health has received $145,000 in grants to help support mental health services.

“Many of the challenges facing our community -- from youth violence to opiate abuse – are rooted in mental health issues, which is why these efforts are such an important part of the Community Health Improvement Plan,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “These funds will help the city add and expand vital services to our residents.”

DPH will receive:

-$30,000 from the Fairlawn Foundation to conduct a mental health assessment as part of the City’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

-$15,000 from the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Coalition to help facilitate the Central Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Coalition

-$100,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as part of a one-year planning project with Boston Public Health Commission and Springfield Health Department

Community Health Improvement Plan

These grants align with the City’s Community Health Improvement Plan, specifically the plan’s Behavioral Health efforts, which aim to foster an accepting community that supports positive mental health and reduce substance abuse for all who live, learn, work and play in Greater Worcester.

The mental health assessment will focus on the City of Worcester and identify gaps and challenges for both consumers and providers. It will also inform what specific priority populations are in need of and to ultimately bring the community together to work on recommended priorities and strategies.

“The Foundation recently aligned its funding guidelines with the CHIP and was compelled to fund this project as a means to expand access to primary care, a priority of the Foundation,” said Christopher O’Keeffe, Vice President for Program for Fairlawn Foundation, an endowed fund administered by Greater Worcester Community Foundation.

The Division of Public Health has also partnered with the Central Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Coalition, a partnership of mental health professionals, service providers, parents, survivors, and others who are committed to preventing suicide. The grant money will go toward raising awareness through education and widespread communication of information about mental health, suicide prevention, and prevention resources and services available in the region.

 

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