DOWNINGTOWN, PA — Communities that Care of Greater Downingtown (CTC) announced that the organization has received $51,000 in state funding to expand youth prevention programming. These funds will support the CTC collective and staff in providing evidence-based programs which encourage and empower youth to make positive choices, promote positive mental health, and prevent substance use.
CTC plans to use these funds to specifically support and expand their Healthy Youth Positive Energy (HYPE) clubs, which are student-led clubs that work to create a healthy school community through advocacy, peer-to-peer support, and leadership. By engaging youth directly in a collaborative community-based 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 assist with the expansion of the SOS: Signs of Suicide prevention program. SOS: Signs of Suicide is an evidence-based mental health prevention program and early intervention program. SOS teaches students how to identify the signs of depression, and suicide in themselves and their peers, and help seeking skills to access resources in the school and community.
State Representative Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, was instrumental in assisting CTC of Greater Downingtown in securing the state grant, which comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
CTC Executive Director Bethann Cinelli commented on the funds, saying “Communities That Care of Greater Downingtown is most grateful to Representative Otten for her continued support and advocacy on behalf of the CTC mission to empower youth to make positive choices. Funding to support CTC’s prevention work is vital to creating healthy communities for positive mental health and substance use prevention. This grant award will enable us to build and sustain capacity for meeting the needs of youth, parents, and school professionals.”
“Even before the challenges of virtual school and a global pandemic, today’s children and teens have faced a growing mental health crisis and very different pressures than any of us had while we were growing up. As both a legislator and a parent, I am grateful to CTC for the work they are doing to promote the importance of mental and behavioral health and positive choices for our youth in the greater Downingtown area,” Otten said. “By facilitating student-led programs and normalizing conversations about mental and behavioral health among students, parents, and school communities, CTC is both empowering youth and helping to provide the supports and resources they need.”
Communities That Care of Greater Downingtown is committed to expanding support and resources to youth and families in the community. This funding will help assist the CTC collective in promoting positive mental health and substance use prevention in the Downingtown community.
Communities That Care of Greater Downingtown (CTC) is a coalition of organizations, businesses, schools, faith communities, law enforcement, and healthcare providers using evidence-based prevention programs and policies to foster positive mental health and youth development. Through a Collective Impact Approach, CTC helps communities identify and implement changes that can help students be successful at school, at home, and in the community. CTC’s mission is to empower youth to make positive choices to reach their full potential. Learn more: www.dtownctc.org.
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