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  TODAY'S BUZZ

LGBT Centers get Johnson Family grants for mental health programs
From a news release
2011-10-26

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The Johnson Family Foundation has announced that The Pride Center of the Capital Region in Albany, NY, and The LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs, CA have each been awarded a $150,000 grant over 3 years dedicated to:

·increasing the variety and quality of mental health services provided by LGBT community centers; and

strengthening the overall organizational capacity of these institutions during a critical phase in their development.

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers is proud to be a partner in this mental health initiative and will be working with both centers to implement yearly organizational technical assistance plans through funding made available from the Foundation.

"CenterLink is thrilled to be part of this innovative program and we look forward to working with each center as they become model programs in the delivery of mental health services," said Terry Stone, Executive Director.

The grants were awarded to support specific capacity building projects of already existing mental health programs, and mark the third year of a three year project.

The Pride Center of the Capital Region is the oldest continuously-operating LGBT community center in the country, and provides a range of programs and services to the LGBT community throughout nine counties in Upstate New York. For over 41 years the Pride Center has worked to empower LGBT people and build a more welcoming community in the Capital Region.

"For the first time in the Pride Center's history, we will be able to expand our LGBT mental health services and build the capacity of the Center to improve our service delivery overall. Over 70% of people coming to the Pride Center have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and with this funding from the Johnson Family Foundation, we will be able to expand our services to better meet these pressing needs, "said Nora Yates, Executive Director of The Pride Center of the Capital Region. "We will more than double the current number of people receiving mental health services, as well as be able offer short-term case management for transgender community members to help people navigate discriminatory agencies and health care organizations. By the end of the three-year grant period, the Pride Center will have taken definitive steps towards opening Upstate New York's first LGBT mental health and substance abuse treatment clinic."

In October 2011, The Golden Rainbow Center became The LGBT Community Center of the Desert. The mission of The Center is to enrich the lives of the LGBT community. While maintaining and strengthening senior services, The Center has undertaken a transformation. Key areas of change are a major expansion of the counseling program, youth crisis collaboration with the Trevor Project and more outreach to women, people of color, and the transgender community.

"On behalf of the board of directors and the community The Center serves, I'd like to express enormous gratitude to The Johnson Family Foundation and CenterLink. This strategic initiative to expand counseling for our community is a tremendous opportunity to advance our mission and address the pressing mental health needs in the LGBT community," said John O'Connor, The Center's Executive Director.

CenterLink applauds the commitment of the Johnson Family Foundation and looks forward to working with them and the centers to build a stronger, healthier LGBT community.


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