Community Fund awards grant to Child Guidance Center

TCF Awards 07142016 b (1)

Carrie Bernier, executive director of the Community Fund of Darien, Eliot Brenner, President and CEO of the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, and Amy Wilkinson, director of grants for the Community Fund of Darien

The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut was awarded a $38,500 grant from The Community Fund of Darien  in support of their Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS) program.

CGC is the state’s designated EMPS provider to children and teens in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan, offering mobile services seven days a week, 365 days a year to stabilize crises. Children referred to the EMPS program often struggle with suicidal thoughts or attempts, self-harm, depression, extreme anxiety, or trauma. By dialing 2-1-1, children, families, school personnel, and other community organizations can request support in an emergency, and a CGC clinician will be onsite to provide immediate mental health services. When a child has the potential to harm their self or others, timely access to care is critical. Last year, CGC clinicians arrived at a client’s location in under 45 minutes to provide immediate intervention in 94% of the cases, well above the state’s requirement.

“CGC’s EMPS program helps ensure the safety of our community’s children, and that’s why TCF supports this cause,” said Carrier Bernier, the Community Fund of Darien Executive Director. “Ensuring that all children who are struggling with a mental illness, especially those who may potentially harm themselves or others, have access to immediate mental health services is very important to our organization, and that’s why we are proud to partner with CGC to provide this mobile program.”

EMPS, partially funded by the Department of Children and Families, charges no out-of-pocket fees to children and families using the program. Because EMPS is mobile, comprised of bilingual clinicians, and charges no fees, it eliminates three potential barriers that may hinder a person’s access to mental health care: transportation, language, and cost. EMPS is available by calling the Connecticut 211 hotline.

For over 65 years, The Community Fund of Darien has helped those in need, working to make our town the best it can be. Their grants to local nonprofits are targeted toward the most critical needs in Darien, Stamford and Norwalk. TheCommunity Fund is located at 30 Old Kings Hwy South in Darien. For more information, go to communityfunddarien.org.

CGC serves children, from birth to 18, in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan. CGC’s staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other clinicians work with nearly 3,000 children annually, providing culturally competent and sensitive mental health care to families.

To learn more about CGC’s mental health services, please call CGC at (203) 324-6127 or visit www.childguidancect.org.

The Community Fund of Darien Invites the Community for a screening of “No Letting Go”

Please join us for a free screening of “No Letting Go” on Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30 pm at the Darien Library.

After the film there will be a Q&A with writer/producer Randi Silverman. The film is based on Silverman’s own experience coping with her son’s mental health disorder.

The film is appropriate for middle and high school students and is sponsored by The Community Fund of DarienDarien Library andLaurel House

Community Fund awarded Thriving Youth grant

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, left, Emily Larkin, Thriving Youth Program Coordinator, Carrie Bernier, executive director The Community Fund of Darien.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, left, Emily Larkin, Thriving Youth Program Coordinator, Carrie Bernier, executive director The Community Fund of Darien.

The Community Fund of Darien has received a competitive annual grant of $100,000 for the next five years to implement a strategic prevention plan to reduce substance abuse and improve mental health among Darien’s youth and their parents.

With this grant, the State of Connecticut recognized The Community Fund’s prevention and asset-development work with the Thriving Youth Task Force and the student asset survey.

The Community Fund of Darien will dedicate resources to engage the whole community in a long-term plan to promote positive youth development and mental health.

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of this important prevention grant. It allows us to invest on a deeper level with our Thriving Youth Task Force and to integrate positive assets into our town’s culture and in our interactions with youth,” said executive director Carrie Bernier.

This grant will strengthen The Community Fund’s collaborative efforts to work with the 42 members of the Thriving Youth Task Force.

“The key to Darien’s success will be collaboration among the many groups that provide services to youth. This effort will be youth-driven and involve youth leaders from across a broad cross-section of town,” said Bernier.

“Our goal is to achieve measureable outcomes in promoting mental health and reducing substance abuse among teens and their parents” said Bernier.

Darien was awarded the grant by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to support The Community Fund’s work to promote the “40 Developmental Assets,” which are evidence-based building blocks for healthy youth.

The Community Fund administered a survey of Darien Public School 7th-12th graders to quantify the “assets” students possess in 2008, 2011 and in November, 2014.

The results were shared in a public forum at the Darien Library in April,2015. The survey revealed some alarming trends, namely that substance abuse was on the rise among teens and resilience/ resistance skills seemed to be declining instead of improving.

With this grant, The Community Fund of Darien will implement a strategic prevention framework using a public health model.

For over 65 years, The Community Fund of Darien’s mission has been to help Darien and our neighbors in Stamford and Norwalk by investing in programs aimed at improving the quality of life for all.

In addition to its community initiatives, The Community Fund of Darien awards grants to local nonprofits helping to address a broad spectrum of vital human services including mental health, substance abuse, at-risk youth, homelessness, hunger, child abuse, special needs and more.

For more information, please contact The Community Fund of Darien office at 203-655-8775 or visit the website at: www.communityfunddarien. org