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City’s Finance Committee to Consider Grant Funds for Mental Health Awareness

Published on Friday, March 24, 2023 | 5:38 am

Ahead of Monday’s City Council meeting, Pasadena’s Finance Committee will vote to recommend the Council authorize the City Manager to enter into an agreement with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to accept and administer $247,623 in Mental Health Awareness and Training grant funds to provide a mental health awareness and training program.

Through the Mental Health and Training program, the department will provide both Mental Health First Aid and community resiliency model training to local service providers, schools, and community members. 

The program includes both in-person and virtual training for anyone interested in learning about mental illnesses and addictions, risk factors, warning signs, and trauma-informed methods for providing support.

The community resiliency model, known as CRM, is a self-care workshop that will be offered to a subset of Mental Health First Aid  trainees who need or request further support so they can help others. 

CRM’s goal is to help to create “trauma informed” and “resiliency-focused” communities that share a common understanding of the impact of trauma and chronic stress on the nervous system and how resiliency can be restored or increased using this skills-based approach. Grant funds will be used to support the time of existing staff to coordinate and deliver Mental Health First Aid and CRM, training materials, and certifications. 

Implementation of this program will support the Department’s goal of improving mental health awareness.

The 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) of Greater Pasadena prioritized health issues based on an analysis of health data.

“‘Mental Health’ was one of five high priority health issues in the City, with 31% of students surveyed in grades 7, 9, and 11 reporting chronic sadness or hopelessness,” according to a City staff report. “One in four Pasadena teens report needing emotional or mental health support.”

According to the report, the proportion of teens in Los Angeles County Service Planning Area who reported needing emotional or mental health support has increased over the last 10 years.

Although nearly one in three now report the need for such support, only 14% receive care. 

Among new mothers in Pasadena, 22.8% reported postpartum depression, and 11.5% of adults overall are at risk for major depression. 

Additionally, community stakeholders have expressed concern about the prevalence of anxiety and depression during the COVID19 pandemic. 

To address these concerns, the Department pursued grant opportunities to improve mental health awareness in the community so individuals in need of assistance can be provided the support they need through existing mental health services. 

In December 2022, the Department was awarded $247,623 through the mental health awareness and training grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The grant will support the delivery of evidence based mental health trainings for four years through December 30, 2026. 

The Department recommends recognizing and appropriating $61,727 of the grant award in Fiscal Year 2023. 

The remaining grant funding will be recognized and appropriated through the budget process in each of the next three fiscal years.

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