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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley
Behavioral Health Service:

What is the Coachella Valley Behavioral Health Collective?

District funds committed to date:

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.