Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board awards 12 mini-grants to local organizations

BATAVIA, OH (July 20, 2023) — The Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board awarded 12 mini-grants to local organizations for the period of July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024. The Mental Health and Recovery Board plans, funds, and monitors mental health and addiction services locally. The grants will fund evidence-based 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 $3,000.

The organizations selected for a mini-grant are:

Batavia Middle School, Calm Room: To create a calm, sensory-controlled space where students can go to feel safe and relaxed when they are overstimulated. The room will contain special lighting, snacks and drinks, comfortable areas to decompress, fidgets and sensory items, plants, and various calming activity options such as yoga and journaling.

Clermont County Public Health (2), Wound Care Kits and Xylazine Test Strips: To purchase Xylazine test strips and Xylazine Wound Care kits to be distributed to the participants of the Clermont County Bloodborne Infectious Disease Prevention Program (Syringe Services Program). The Bloodborne Infectious Disease Prevention Program offers a comprehensive approach to harm reduction that includes a one-for-one exchange of syringes, free naloxone, HIV and Hepatitis C testing, and referrals to treatment or other services.

Inter Parish Ministry, Food Pantry Summer Picnic: To provide summer picnics, freshly prepared hot meals, and “pop-up” picnics in various Clermont County communities for clients who are in need and to provide community mental health resource information and empowerment items. IPM’s Summer Community Picnic Program fosters a sense of well-being among food-insecure families and individuals who use the agency as a food resource.

Milford Mulberry Elementary School, Sensory Path/Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS): To install a permanent sensory path in the school building to be used as a tool that students can access when they need an out-of-classroom break that is guided with specific motor activities to reregulate their bodies. The grant will also pay to continue the school’s subscription to the PBIS software app that supports data-driven decision making.

Milford Pattison Elementary, Second Step Learning Kits K-3: To purchase one Second Step instructional kit for each grade level from kindergarten through third grade and one Principal Toolkit to assist with training for staff. Kits will be used by general education teachers class-wide to provide research-based instruction in social emotional skills and in turn, to help students build confidence, collaborate with others, and learn to navigate the world. The kits also allow teachers to access online digital resources related to the program that can be used for future, stand-alone implementation. The kits allow staff to access online training modules to prepare for teaching.

Milford Seipelt Elementary, Social Emotional Learning Program (SEL): To provide every student with whole-school assemblies, as well as smaller breakout sessions for more social-emotional learning (SEL) sessions, in which students will have the opportunity to engage in activities that promote self-reflection, relationship building, and social awareness.

Milford School District, Staff Well-Being: To plan activities around the wellbeing of staff that will include securing a weekly yoga instructor who could provide yoga to our staff onsite as well as various sensory and mindful materials that would create the opportunity to be available at various professional development days that have been set for recalibration as a station to relax and reset.

New Richmond High School, Sources of Strength: To continue efforts to improve mental wellness of both staff and students through a program called Sources of Strength. Sources of Strength is an upstream suicide prevention program that provides training for early intervention and suicide prevention. The program’s goal is to improve the social and cultural climate of the school and improve the mental health and wellbeing of both staff and students. It uses peer leaders to enhance protective factors associated with reducing suicide across a school population.

Safe Harbor of Hope, Day Ministry Center: To begin a Day Ministry Center available Monday through Friday as a point of connection for services geared toward women in the community who struggle with addiction and mental health wellness. The women will receive peer support services, food, clothing, hygiene products, drug testing, and other resources and information.

SMART Recovery, US Inc., SMART Recovery Handbooks: To purchase 200 SMART Recovery Handbooks to be distributed to clients at Clermont County addiction treatment facilities. The handbooks will provide clients with tools to help them with recovery. The grant will also be used for facilitator training and the development of additional community meetings.

West Clermont Merwin Elementary, PBIS Rewards System Access: To implement a schoolwide digital management system for Positive Behavioral health and Interventions Supports (PBIS) Rewards. Teachers and support staff at Merwin Elementary are currently using physical tokens to reward students for demonstrating appropriate behaviors at school. Teachers often share that the process of printing and cutting out the physical tokens is extremely time consuming each week. Rewarding students as a whole class is not always feasible during instruction or learning activities. The PBIS Rewards digital program will allow teachers and staff to immediately acknowledge positive student behavior from a mobile device.