Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board awards 10 mini-grants to local organizations

The Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board awarded 10 mini-grants to local organizations for the period of July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022. The Mental Health and Recovery Board plans, funds, and monitors mental health and addiction services locally. The grants will fund programs that enhance mental health and/or prevent addiction in Clermont County. The grant applications were initially reviewed by a three-member committee. A total of $30,000 was allocated, with maximum funding per project of $4,000.

The organizations selected for a mini-grant are:

Cathy Barney, Artsy Fartsy Saturdays: To host a book launch event and reunion for past Artsy Fartsy students who have found their voices and creativity, built confidence and self-esteem, and received encouragement throughout the history of the program. The students will each receive a copy of the book, which includes their own stories, words, art, and photographs and will be a tangible reminder they are a vital and valuable part of their community.

Clermont Senior Services, Caregiver Support Group: To provide educational resources for caregivers who make it possible for seniors to remain in their home and out of a long-term facility. The resources will aid the caregivers in developing healthy caregiving skills. Also, to purchase non-medical items that encourage cognitive stimulation/emotional support for seniors who have mild to moderate dementia.

Felicity-Franklin Elementary School, Outdoor Classroom/Family Engagement: To build an outdoor classroom where students can develop a sense of self, independence, confidence, empathy, and self-discipline. Also, to host Family Reading Night and Math Night which promote positive family interactions with the school via the new outdoor classroom. The funds will also contribute to Red Ribbon week at the school, a drug-use prevention campaign to keep kids drug-free.

Goshen Spaulding Elementary School, Safer, Smarter Kids: To purchase a curriculum that is designed to empower elementary school-aged children to protect themselves in situations where someone could abuse them. In addition, to purchase lesson plans that incorporate visual aids to educate children about the importance of body boundaries and personal safety. And lastly for trauma-informed care that supports families and organizations that care for abused children, especially those seeking support within the foster care system.

Inter Parish Ministry, Food Pantry Summer Picnic: To provide groceries, as well as a freshly prepared hot meal for approximately 100 families who are in need, community mental health resource information, and empowerment items. The picnics also provide an opportunity for staff to interact with and meet clients who will hopefully embrace a sense of community and comradery.

Milford McCormick Elementary School, Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS): To enhance the current PBIS framework by adding a block of time and available resources schoolwide, each day, to explicitly teach skills that promote social-emotional well-being. Activities during these time blocks may include a lesson on resiliency, how to accept disappointment, self-regulation, or expressing emotions appropriately.

Milford Mulberry Elementary School, Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS): To expand the PBIS program by providing options for behavioral and sensory enrichment outside of the classroom. School staff have designated a room in the building where students can go when they need a break outside of the classroom, away from peers, potential triggers, and other stressors. The grant will be used to equip this room with sensory tools to help the students regroup, recenter, and return to the classroom.

On Our Way Home, Inc., Recovery House Improvements: To enhance the recovery house property and provide an inviting residence for tenants recovering from substance use disorder. The improvements are aimed at making the tenants feel safe, secure, and proud of their new home. In addition, the improvements will help maintain good relations with the neighbors.

SMART Recovery USA, Meeting Handbooks: To purchase SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) handbooks for meeting attendees. The handbooks will provide materials and worksheets individuals can use to achieve their goal of addiction recovery by teaching the four-point program: 1. Building and Maintaining Motivation; 2. Coping with Urges; 3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors; and 4. Living a Balanced Life.

West Clermont Holly Hill Elementary School, Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS): To enhance the current PBIS program by improving designated calming spaces, extra support, and a PBIS incentive program. The grant will help provide resources and self-regulation tools to each homeroom’s “calming corner”- a designated space where a student can retreat to de-escalate. The grant will also provide an extra layer of support for special needs learners through tools and adapted lessons/equipment to help them grow in the area of social and emotional learning.

In addition to the above recipients, the Board has also received permission to use outside grant funding to help support other local programs that submitted mini-grant proposals.

Those award recipients are:

Grant Career Center, Grant Us Hope: To develop a “Hope Squad”- a community of students who work together to learn suicide prevention and mental wellness. Hope Squad is a school-based, peer-to-peer, suicide prevention program for students with curriculum that emphasizes suicide prevention fundamentals, self-care, and anti-bullying.

Safe Harbor of Hope, Tuition Sponsorship: To provide tuition costs for four women to complete their first 90 days in a residential, sober living residence where they can recover from unhealthy lifestyles. The women will receive an individualized program with ongoing assessment and Case Management as well as a support coach. Safe Harbor has no salaried employees and most of its funding is through grants, donors, faith-based support, and fundraisers.

Williamsburg Middle School, Hope Squad Summer Camp: To continue the school’s suicide prevention program and host a summer camp where new members can become acquainted with the expectations and goals of the Hope Squad program. The students will do team building activities, complete suicide prevention and awareness trainings, plan the Hope Squad schedule, and discuss ways to spread awareness for good mental health and suicide prevention.

Additional information on the mini-grant awards, the programs, and about mental health or addiction prevention can be obtained by contacting the Mental Health & Recovery Board at 513-732-5400 or visiting their website at