Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tower Foundation awards $62,000 in grants to three organizations

TOPEKA, KAN. – Three statewide organizations have been awarded grants from the Tower Foundation totaling $62,000 to support mental health services in Kansas, Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, Inc., was awarded $30,000 to fund staff training in the Mental Health First Aid for Youth (MHFA-Y) program, so they can disseminate this training to others across the state.

MHFA-Y is a public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.

Disability Rights Center of Kansas, Inc., was awarded $23,000 to fund the development and promotion of “transition toolkit” for recent high school graduates with disabilities, including mental health disabilities, to navigate the transition from high school to adult life.

The toolkit will provide information to students and their parents so they can understand their rights and how to obtain support during and after the transition. The toolkit will include a smart phone application that will make it more effective and accessible for the user.

NAMI Kansas, Inc., received an award of $9,000, which will pay for training of In Our Own Voice presenters. In Our Own Voice is a public education program developed by NAMI in which two trained speakers share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery.

The Tower Mental Health Foundation of Kansas was created as a result of an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and the Menninger Foundation in 2007. It offers support to organizations that provide mental health services to Kansas.

The Attorney General is the sole member of the Foundation, which is staffed by the Office of the Attorney General. The Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of nine Kansans with a keen interest in mental health issues. Dr. Walter Menninger serves as the Board’s president.