Friday, January 15, 2021

Mental Health and Wellbeing of School Students in South Hills Addressed by Jefferson Regional Foundation Grant to The Chill Project by AHN

The Jefferson Regional Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to The Chill Project by Allegheny Health Network (AHN), helping expand its mission to transform the delivery of behavioral health in local school communities and improve outcomes  by offering mindfulness techniques to better handle stress, feelings of hopelessness and anxiety in a safe environment. Grant funding will support a study of the implementation of the school-based model and provide valuable feedback for future project expansion. This two-year, $50,000 grant was awarded in September 2019, and the second -year funding of $25,000 was recently received.

Many children suffer from the same issues adults face such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Whether treated or not, the children continue in school and the problems they face can tie into major issues including chronic absence, low achievement, disruptive behavior, or worse.  As student behavioral health concerns prevail, educators experience prolonged exposure to maladaptive behaviors causing burnout and extensive turnover rates.

A recent study found that the nationwide closures of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted the mental wellbeing of over 91 percent of the world's student population, and that older adolescents and youth are particularly more anxious regarding cancellation of examinations, exchange programs and social and academic events.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to align with the Jefferson Regional Foundation to provide programs that improve the behavioral health of our youth at a time when disruptions to routine and normalcy are causing more mental distress than ever before,” said Allie Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer at AHN.

“We are very pleased to support The Chill Project by AHN in giving students and faculty immediate access to coping skills that provide emotional support and mindfulness strategies especially during this crucial time,” said Mary Phan-Gruber, CEO of Jefferson Regional Foundation.  “Demonstrating the value of these comprehensive services supports the goals that the Foundation and AHN share to improve the wellbeing of our student communities.”

The Chill Project by AHN currently offers on-site services in the West Jefferson Hills, Baldwin-Whitehall, South Park, Carlynton school districts, as well as at Steel Center for Career and Technical Education.

For more information visit The AHN Chill Project by AHN.


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