SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The Fanny Holt Ames and Edna Louise Holt Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, has awarded Health Care and Rehabilitation Services of Southeastern Vermont (HCRS) a three-year, $149,101 grant, the agency announced today. The award will support HCRS’ highly regarded Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) & Adverse Childhood Events Prevention (ACEs) Education Project.
The Holt Fund was established in order to meet the medical needs of the Grafton, Vt. community and its surrounding towns. HCRS is the second largest of Vermont’s 10 designated mental health organizations and serves communities across Windsor and Windham Counties. HCRS has received prior funding from the Holt Fund for its successful Police Social Work Program.
HCRS’ MHFA & ACEs Education Project will provide training in the community on how to assist people experiencing mental health problems to ensure that these individuals receive appropriate help in a timely manner.
Further, the project will educate communities about the negative impact of exposure to ongoing, significant – or “toxic” – stress, especially for children. The ACE’s Education Project further supports development of trauma-informed care in our community.
MHFA & ACEs will positively affect the communities in the Holt Fund catchment areas by
· Increasing mental health awareness and literacy
· Increasing prevention, early intervention and access to behavioral health services
· Support recovery and resiliency
· Reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health problems
· Strengthen the community and cross-system capacities.
HCRS estimates that at least 900 individuals will benefit from the education project over the course of the grant. The agency also plans to sustain the program after Holt funding ends.
Already, the project enjoys the support of some of the most recognized and respected health care and other organizations in the region, who stand ready to act as collaborators to advance the program’s missions.
Key in helping HCRS secure the grant, these supporting organizations include the AHS Field Services Director, Springfield Medical Care Systems (SMCS) and the SMCS Community Health Team, the Springfield Area Parent Child Center, Park’s Place, the Bellows Falls Police Department, the Townshend Community Committee, and the Windham County Sheriff’s Office.
“We are once again deeply honored by the Holt Fund grant and its support for a project that will strengthen our community. It will provide us a shared language to increase mental health literacy, improve coordination between agencies, enhance collaboration, and reduce unnecessary emergency department visits,” said George Karabakakis, Chief Executive Officer, HCRS. “Through MHFA & ACEs, community members can be better prepared to support a person facing a mental health crisis.”
Founded in 1967, HCRS is a non-profit, community mental health agency serving Vermonters in Windham and Windsor counties. HCRS serves over 4,000 individuals every year through its mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities programs. The Agency provides holistic care for clients, supporting them with employment, housing, transportation, and other social service needs. Visit www.hcrs.org for more information.