With $2 million grant, SaintA to offer mental health services at Boys & Girls Clubs sites

The Daniels-Mardak Boys & Girls Club at 4834 N. 35th St.

SaintA plans to open eight new mental health branch offices at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee sites, in a new partnership among the human services agency, the youth organization and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The new collaboration is being funded by a $2 million grant awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to SaintA.

Called “Project Thrive,” the program will serve Milwaukee children and their families who have experienced the trauma of abuse, neglect, poverty, racism or family separation, the organization said. The trauma-informed mental health treatment will be offered at eight BGCGM sites over the next five years. SaintA expects to have served more than 2,700 people by the end of the funding period.

Project Thrive will serve primarily African American (64%) and Latinx (23%) residents who are economically disadvantaged, the organization said.

“This grant award signals a shift in how mental health services are provided – and funded – at the local and national level,” said Ann Leinfelder Grove, president and chief executive officer of SaintA. “The departure from more traditional service delivery to a community-based model, where services are provided in familiar settings, where kids and families feel safe, is a game-changer and at the heart of what SaintA is all about.”

The project will provide BGCGM youth development professionals with expanded and enhanced training related to responding to youth mental health challenges and trauma histories, including training in the “7 Essential Ingredients of Trauma Informed Care,” which was developed by SaintA.

MCW will provide data analysis for the project.

“We recognize the value and importance of data analysis and evaluation and the ongoing need to learn from real-time data and adjust accordingly,” said Dr. John Raymond, president and CEO of MCW. “The diligent and intentional collection of data tied to Project Thrive will allow us to not only best serve those in need of services today, but will inform future service delivery locally through partners like SaintA and nationally through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration network.”

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