Groups aiming to improve mental health for local youth

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Highlighting the impact of trauma and its effect on mental health is the main mission for Artie Padilla and a specialty team of health care providers.

In January of this year, a nearly $3 million grant was awarded to the Fresno Community Health Improvement partnership and Saint Agnes Medical Network of Care.

"This network of care is really building a bridge between the medical provider and our community-based organizations, so the providers can refer these families to these community-based organizations," Padilla said.

For the last several months, they've been doing a lot of groundwork and say they now have liaisons ready to assist referred families.

"We are hopeful that by the end of next month, we will have more providers doing the screening and making that referral," Padilla said.

They are also using a Mental Health Guide by Listos California and passing it out to families so they can gather information independently and find resources to help find those mental health support systems.

"I would love for this to be out in schools and for community organizations to use it in their work settings," Padilla said.

He says they are still finalizing some key points when it comes to sharing patient data, but believes addressing early signs of trauma or mental health should be normalized and he can't wait for the efforts to begin.

"We are hopeful we really have a newfound awareness about social-emotional health that is on the same field as physical health," Padilla said.

The First Aid Kit For Your Mind has five simple steps for protecting your mental well-being. It is available in 7 language and can be found on ListosCalifornia.org.
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