Mental Health Resources – The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert (Coachella Valley support) - https://thecentercv.org/en/resources/
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – Managing the holiday blues - https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/November-2015/Tips-for-Managing-the-Holiday-Blues
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services) – Support during the holidays - https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/observances/support-during-holidays
Increasing and improving mental and behavioral health resources for Coachella Valley residents has long been a priority for the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation Board.
Since 2018, when the District and Foundation launched a Behavioral Health Initiative, the Board has allocated $3 million to support behavioral health services and programs. That was followed in 2019 with a valley-wide behavioral health needs assessment, commissioned by the District and Foundation.
The assessment provided insight and prompted the development of a behavioral health improvement plan. In 2021, the District and Foundation took important steps to advance this effort:
* Jana Trew was hired as the District and Foundation's Senior Program Officer - Behavioral Health to provide direction and support in realizing Board-approved policies.
* A new five-year strategic plan, adopted by the Board, included as its No. 3 goal: to proactively expand community access to behavioral/mental health services.
* Ms. Trew began meeting with various behavioral health and community leaders from the valley and Riverside County to identify stakeholders, services, and challenges related to behavioral health.
After a year of intensive groundwork involving 60 stakeholders in working groups and a steering committee, the Coachella Valley Behavioral Health Collective was established in 2023 by the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation and Riverside University Health System - Behavioral Health. District and Foundation Chief Program Officer Donna Craig and RUHS - Behavioral Health Director Dr. Matthew Chang co-chair its steering committee.
The Collective now has a range of community representation with 38 participating organizations. Their expertise includes education, healthcare, civic leadership, youth support, and more.
On October 17, the Healthcare District hosted a social isolation/loneliness data walk and luncheon. The event was held at the Regional Access Project Foundation offices in Palm Desert. It brought together over 30 community organizations that provide supportive services to the Coachella Valley. The objective was to share their input as we explore how best to address the negative impact of social isolation and loneliness on valley residents through a Request for Proposals (RFP), which is under development.
Participants were able to review data related to this topic from a variety of sources that included National Institutes of Health. U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory Report on Aging in Orange County, SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBTQ+ Elders, American Association of Retired Persons, National Council on Aging, to name a few. This interactive process allowed for much discussion on what is needed to address this issue and what opportunities exist. All input will be reviewed and will be used for the development of strategies included in the RFP.
- Collaborating with community partners to address current and future behavioral health needs
- Improving access to behavioral health services and resources for all Coachella Valley residents