ONTRACK and SCUSD awarded federal grants for youth mental health services

Press release

November 13, 2015 (Sacramento):  ONTRACK Program Resources and the Sacramento City Unified School District have been awarded three-year grants from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to train adults in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

With this Project AWARE Community Grants funding, parents, guardians, community members and SCUSD staff will learn how to recognize the signs of mental health issues in children. ONTRACK and the school district will be coordinating services and focusing on youth in the Meadowview area of Sacramento.

“We must increase mental health awareness and knowledge in order to decrease stigma. It is critical that those working with youth know the signs of mental health crisis so that our youth can receive access to the care they need as soon as possible,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui, who helped secure the grants.

The program’s objectives include increasing the mental health literacy of adults and increasing the capacity of adults to respond to behavioral health issues impacting youth.

“The overall goal of the ONTRACK California Capital Project AWARE is to expand our community’s capacity to increase awareness of mental health issues and connect youth experiencing behavioral health challenges to needed mental health and addictions treatment and support services,” said Madalynn C. Rucker, ONTRACK’s chief executive officer.

YMFHA training makes a difference and this grant will allow ONTRACK to serve more people. “We are thrilled to coordinate with ONTRACK on this important training,” said SCUSD Superintendent José L. Banda. “Ensuring that our students’ needs are identified and met is critical to their success in school and life.”

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Through customized technical assistance, consultation and training since 1997, ONTRACK has helped hundreds of organizations implement evidence-based, culturally responsive, best practices to improve the health and wellbeing of diverse communities, especially those at risk for substance use and mental health disorders, trauma, domestic violence, homelessness, criminal justice involvement, HIV, poverty, and other challenges. For more information about ONTRACK’s Project AWARE grant, programs, and services, contact Madalynn C. Rucker at 916/285-1810 or via e-mail at mcrucker@ontrackconsulting.org. Visit ONTRACK’s website at getontrack.org

About SCUSD:

The Sacramento City Unified School District is the 10th largest K-12 district in California, serving 43,000 students on 76 campuses. SCUSD’s Board-approved mission is to graduate students as competitive lifelong learners, prepared to succeed in a career and higher education institution of their choice to secure gainful employment and contribute to society.