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Community Foundation Receives $100K Grant for Youth Mental Health Initiative

[Image description: Children smiling and standing in a circle with their arms over their heads holding a multi-colored parachute.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation has received a $100,000 Community Health Impact Grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support a youth-led collaborative effort focused on improving mental health and well-being of young people across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counites.

“Though youth mental health challenges existed before the global health pandemic, the effects of COVID-19 have exacerbated and highlighted many of these concerns to such an extent that the issue has stood out as one of the most pressing among the 13 objectives on the Northwest Michigan Community Development Coalition’s Scorecard,” said David Mengebier, President and CEO of the Community Foundation.

With the Health Fund grant, the Community Foundation aims to strengthen collaboration between the NWMI Community Development Coalition, the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Councils, and other youth-based programs and partners across the region, such as The Rock of Kingsley, LIFT Teen Center in Suttons Bay, and the Benzie Area Youth Initiative through Grow Benzie. The initiative will also include a storytelling component with Interlochen Public Radio, a Community Development Coalition Contributor.

“This initiative is rooted in improving communication and increasing collaboration among our community partners to support local youth in a relevant, data-driven, and sustainable manner,” said Mengebier. “We are still in the early planning stages, but we are looking forward to building and sustaining strong partnerships that will benefit our youth across the five-county region.”