News & Event
In 2015, the foundation awarded planning grants to the Bellingham, Milford and Framingham Public Schools to develop plans for implementing a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) framework within their respective districts. SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, and make responsible decisions. Research shows that children with strong social-emotional skills perform better in school, have more positive relationships and better mental health outcomes.
Now with their plans complete, the foundation's board of trustees recently approved three-year, $105,000 implementation grants for each district. The grants are designed to help each school system train personnel in grades K-5 on SEL systems, beliefs and practices leading to improved school culture. In addition to the grants, the foundation will be supporting the districts through a "learning community" where they can share best practices and learn from those systems that have successfully implemented SEL practices.
Continuing with our strategic focus on adolescent mental health services, the foundation recently funded a number of local school systems to address the mental health needs of their students.
King Philip Regional School District received a grant of $70,000 to replicate the evidence-based BRYT Program at King Philip Regional High School. BRYT stands for the Brookline Resilient Youth Team, a unique program started at Brookline High School that provides support for students returning to school from a hospitalization due to a behavioral health issue. The BRYT Program provides clinical coordination between students, families and school personnel during a crisis and the re-entry process. With the King Philip grant, the foundation has now supported replication of the BRYT program in seven area school systems.
A new grant to the Mendon-Upton Regional School District is allowing school personnel to be trained in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy or DBT. Staff can use DBT skills, such as mindfulness and distress tolerance, to teach students how to manage specific challenges and events, making it easier for them to remain in the classroom. The foundation funded a similar program within the Millis Public Schools that demonstrated a significant decrease in student counseling referrals for self-harming behaviors.
The foundation is also excited about a new three-year grant we recently made to Wellesley College that will be developing and evaluating a comprehensive program to address youth depression and suicide ideation. The three-year grant will enable researchers at Wellesley to conduct universal telephone depression screening of Natick High School students and make appropriate referrals for prevention and treatment. The program will also refer students to a unique web-based resource that can help students strengthen protective factors and reduce their vulnerability to depressive disorders. For the Natick Public Schools, this project fits within their strategic goal of improving academic achievement by incorporating best practices that address wellness and reduce student stress.
Read more about our work to address adolescent mental health in the initiative section of our website.
The MetroWest Health Foundation today announced that its grants panels and trustees have approved 26 new grants totaling $873,726. These grants follow the foundation’s new strategic plan and focus primarily on access to care, adolescent mental health and healthy aging.
Organizations receiving grants are:
A Place to Turn $15,000
Capacity building support – food pantry.
Advocates, Inc. $66,367
To improve access to psychiatric services.
Assabet Valley Regional Technical School $20,000
To upgrade a patient simulator used in nursing education.
BayPath Elder Services $17,875
To support chronic disease management programs for older adults.
Brazilian American Center $50,070
To facilitate access to preventative mental health services.
Facing Cancer Together $4,900
To develop a cancer support group for Portuguese speakers.
Framingham Board of Health $40,000
To launch an Age/Dementia Friendly Initiative in Framingham.
Framingham Public Library $18,300
To offer senior exercise and health/nutrition classes.
HESSCO Elder Services $13,586
To decrease social isolation among LGBT elders.
Home Care Aide Foundation $40,000
To address social isolation among elders.
Hoops & Homework, Inc. $10,500
Capacity building support – staff training.
To offer respite care for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Hudson Public Schools $17,850
To offer a transition program for students reentering school after an
extended absence due to psychiatric or medical reasons.
Latino Health Insurance Program, Inc. $44,429
To support the use of patient navigators for insurance enrollment and
connection to primary care.
Medfield Council on Aging $22,987
To expand health & wellness services.
Medway Public Schools $9,999
To develop best practice models in the administration of SBIRT.
MetroWest Free Medical Program $45,898
To expand the use of volunteer and staff capacity.
MetroWest Regional Transit Authority $16,110
To equip paratransit vehicles with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
Natick Public Schools $24,630
To support social work services for at-risk students and their families.
Natick Service Council $15,000
Capacity building support – food pantry.
Natick Visiting Nurse Association $273,778
To provide prescription drug assistance to the uninsured and underinsured.
Needham Youth & Family Services $20,000
To conduct Mental Health First Aid training.
Pelham Apartments Resident Services $5,400
To offer wellness programs for youth.
Trustees of Boston University $19,999
To design questions for the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey to
assess mental health service utilization.
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Inc. $17,405
To provide behavioral health support services at Framingham’s Wilson
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Inc. $13,641
To translate Parenting for Prevention tip sheets into Portuguese, Spanish
As Director of Intake for Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s MetroWest Counseling Services, Ms. Goulart has a significant impact on youth and families seeking services as she is often their first point of contact. She is described by her peers as compassionate, patient and culturally sensitive to the needs of each individual she sees and ensures that they have the opportunity to speak with someone who speaks their native language. She also serves on Wayside’s
The MetroWest Health Foundation recently awarded over $750,000 in new grants to area nonprofit and municipal organizations. The grants were made as part of the foundation’s spring grant cycle and are designed to help organizations accomplish projects that improve the health and well-being of residents and communities in the MetroWest region.
The 19 new grants address a variety of issues including heath equity, healthy aging and access to care. The largest grants were $250,000 to South Middlesex Opportunity Council to support the establishment of a new South Framingham community center, and $150,000 to Riverside Community Care to support mental health services in the Greater Milford area.
In addition to these organization, grants were also made to the following:
BayPath Elder Services, Inc. $34,736
To improve access to services for LGBTQ elders.
Brazilian American Center $30,915
To facilitate the access to mental health and wellness services.
Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center $20,000
To improve specialty care referrals for patients.
Framingham Board of Health $19,240
To make Framingham an age/dementia-friendly community.
Framingham Housing Authority $19,944
To reduce incidents of heat stroke among elderly and disabled residents.
Franklin Council on Aging $9,798
To support a Dementia Friendly community.
Franklin Food Pantry $2,150
To train volunteers and staff in trauma informed care.
Health Care for All $24,245
To improve access to care for immigrant families in the MetroWest community.
Hudson Board of Health $20,000
To build local capacity and expertise around how adults can develop strong connections to the youth in their lives.
Learning Center for the Deaf $20,000
To support the establishment of an outpatient mental health clinic to serve deaf and hard of hearing children and
MetroWest Regional Transit Authority $26,000
To offer diversity, equity, and inclusion training for staff.
MetroWest Worker Center $20,000
To provide medical accompaniment to immigrant workers injured on the job.
MetroWest YMCA $25,000
To strengthen primary prevention strategies within the region.
Natick Service Council, Inc. $20,000
To increase health insurance enrollment and health literacy of residents.
OUT MetroWest $20,715
To build capacity to serve LGBTQ youth of color.
RIA House Inc. $29,992
To improve mental health and recovery services for women survivors of
South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. $10,000
To develop an action plan on behalf of the Greater Framingham
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