DOWNINGTOWN — Communities that Care of Greater Downingtown (CTC) is pleased to announce that the organization has received $ 51,000 in state funding to expand prevention programs for youth. These funds will help the CTC collective and staff deliver evidence-based programs that encourage and empower young people to make positive choices, promote positive mental health and prevent substance use.
The CTC plans to use these funds to specifically support and expand its Healthy Youth Positive Energy (HYPE) clubs, which are student-run clubs that work to build a healthy school community through advocacy, peer support. and leadership. By directly engaging young people in a collaborative community change effort, HYPE aims to give young people the skills, confidence and experiences they need to become effective advocates for positive social change.
In addition, the funds will also help to expand the SOS: Signs of Suicide prevention program. SOS: Signs of Suicide is an evidence-based mental health prevention and early intervention program. SOS teaches students how to identify the signs of depression and suicide in themselves and their peers, and helps them research skills to access resources in school and in the community.
State Representative Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, was instrumental in helping the Greater Downingtown CTC secure the state grant, which comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Social Services.
CTC Executive Director Bethann Cinelli commented on the funds, stating that “Communities That Care of Greater Downingtown is very grateful to Representative Otten for her continued support and advocacy on behalf of the CTC’s mission to empower young people to make positive choices. Funding to support the CTC’s prevention work is essential to building healthy communities for positive mental health and prevention of substance use. This grant will allow us to build and maintain the capacity to meet the needs of young people, parents and professionals in the school.
“Even before the challenges of the virtual school and a global pandemic, children and adolescents today have faced a growing mental health crisis and pressures very different from any of us. us during our childhood. As a legislator and parent, I am grateful to the CTC for the work they do to promote the importance of mental and behavioral health and positive choices for our youth in the greater Downingtown area, ”said Otten. “By facilitating student-led programming and normalizing conversations about mental and behavioral health among students, parents and school communities, the CTC empowers youth and helps provide the supports and resources they need. “
Communities That Care of Greater Downingtown is committed to extending support and resources to youth and families in the community. This funding will help the CTC collective promote positive mental health and substance use prevention in the community of Downingtown.