Kaiser Permanente is Ensuring continuity of mental health services for those affected by fires

A $1 million grant to the County of Sonoma and a $500,000 grant to Santa Rosa City Schools will extend the work these two organizations are doing to help local—and often our most vulnerable—people cope with the effects of last October’s wildfires.

Sonoma County Department of Health Services

Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Community Benefit $1 million grant will support the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) Crisis Counseling Program (CCP), a critical effort to deliver trauma-informed services to those affected by the wildfires last year.

Many residents are in need of mental health services that support overall recovery, resiliency, and well-being. DHS aims to strengthen community resiliency through focus on trauma-informed resident support provided through the Crisis Counseling Program (CCP). Initial recovery work through the CCP is supported by short-term disaster relief grants from FEMA. Now these mental health services can continue beyond Dec. 2018 when the FEMA grant ends.

“This grant is one of the ways we are demonstrating our commitment to some of the most vulnerable people in our community who continue to feel the effects of trauma after the wildfires,” said Judy Coffey, RN, Kaiser Permanente Sr. Vice President and Area Manager, Marin-Sonoma.

Santa Rosa City Schools

Kaiser Permanente has contributed $500,000 to the Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center, recently established by Santa Rosa City Schools to provide immediate, year-round and longterm counseling, medical, and academic support to families in Santa Rosa affected by the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires.

The grant will be used to ensure continuity of mental health services during periods when schools are not open, such as summer months and winter break. Services will be provided to all county residents, whether or not they have children in the school district and regardless of documentation status.

“It will take years to rebuild and likely years to recover from the traumatic impact of the fires in this community. Children feel that impact, and many need counseling, tutoring or extra support to recover,” said Diann Kitamura, Superintendent, Santa Rosa City Schools. “We are grateful to Kaiser Permanente for their generous grant to help provide that support at the new Integrated Wellness Center. More people will be able to access the resources they need outside of the regular school day.”

“The Center is an important component of our community’s mental health and wellness efforts, and we’re proud to support the work it does and continue our partnership with Santa Rosa City Schools,” said Coffey.

Regional grants for local community health

Kaiser Permanente Regional grants allow us to coordinate our regional resources with a local focus. “These larger investments will deepen the impact that we can make in improving the health of our communities,” said Alena Wall, Community Benefit/Community Health manager for Marin-Sonoma and Napa Solano. In the coming months, look for additional KP regional priorities touching down in our local communities.