February 1, 2023
The Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) is investing in mental health support for K-12 youth. A $10,000 grant award was presented to Youth First, Inc., by CFMC on Thursday, January 19. The check presentation was held at Bell Intermediate Academy in Martinsville, with CFMC, Metropolitan School District of Martinsville, Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation, and Youth First staff represented.
The grant will allow for mental health support through school social work services in selected Martinsville and Mooresville schools. Youth First partners with 110 schools across 12 Indiana counties to embed 83 skilled social workers in school buildings, where they become specialized mentors for students and prevention coaches for parents and teachers. They also coordinate with community partners such as the Boys and Girls Club of Morgan County and the Morgan County Substance Abuse Council, among others, to connect students and families to resources and services. Youth First Social Workers build caring relationships, foster readiness for positive change, and boost resiliency along with other valuable life skills.
Research shows these protective factors are the keys to preventing addiction, suicide, violence, and similar outcomes for young people. The organization’s positive outcomes are driving growth, with more schools seeking Youth First’s help to address the mental health needs of students and best equip them for success.
Brittani Bentley, President of the Community Foundation of Morgan County, says: “Youth First is the ideal grantee. They are continuously improving their programming based on the need of our Morgan County students. In a 2019 youth survey, students from four Morgan County school systems reported they need access to mental health professionals to develop the skills they need to cope with the real world. While the 2019 data is pre-pandemic, educators tell us that the need for this service has only increased. Youth First Social Workers are the heroes providing the services our youth tell us they desperately need.”
About Youth First, Inc.:
Youth First’s mission is to strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success. Youth First partners with 110 schools across 12 Indiana counties to provide 83 Master’s level social workers who assess needs, develop and implement prevention plans, and connect students and their families to vital resources. Youth First also offers community programs involving parents and caregivers to strengthen families. For more information about Youth First, please visit youthfirstinc.org.
Gift to Support Morgan County Students and Families