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$479,600 Grant Received For Youth Suicide Prevention Efforts

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Tuolumne, CA — The Tuolumne Me-Wuk Indian Health Center is receiving grant money for youth suicide prevention and mental health support.

The $479,600 is from the Center at Sierra Health Foundation, based, in Sacramento, for a Youth Suicide Prevention Media and Outreach Program.

Dee Baldwin, Outreach Manager for the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Indian Health Center, says, “This grant is a significant step forward in our mission to create a community where every young person feels valued, supported, and hopeful about their future. We are deeply thankful to the Center At Sierra Health Foundation for recognizing the importance of this cause and their commitment to improving the mental well-being of our youth.”

It is noted that the grant money will benefit both youth tribal members and others in the community.

Chet Hewitt, the CEO of the Center at Sierra Health Foundation, adds, “California’s youth are the heartbeat of our future. Sadly, too many are dying by suicide or wrestling with suicidal thoughts and feelings.

He adds, “The Center is grateful to partner with the California Department of Public Health on the Youth Suicide Prevention Media and Outreach Campaign to connect young people with hope and culturally competent mental health resources through community-based organizations.”

The Tuolumne Me-Wuk Indian Health Center’s local approach is detailed below:

1. Mental Health Awareness Campaigns: We will support and implement awareness campaigns targeting schools, parents, and the wider community to destigmatize mental health issues, encourage open dialogue, and promote early intervention.

2. Youth Support Services: The grant will help us expand our youth-focused support services, including peer support groups, and ensure that young individuals have access to the assistance they need.

3. Training and Education: We will help support training and educational efforts to teachers, counselors, parents, and community leaders to help them identify warning signs and provide effective support to struggling youth.

4. Research and Data Collection: A portion of the grant will be allocated to conduct research and gather data on youth suicide rates and risk factors within our community. This will enable us to tailor our interventions more effectively.

5. Collaboration with Partners: The Tuolumne Me-Wuk Indian Health Center will collaborate with The Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools and the YES program, as well as other organizations, mental health professionals, and government agencies to leverage collective efforts in preventing youth suicide.