The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) is offering its annual mini-grants for youth-led projects to reduce stigma among their peers, with support from the Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia (SPAN), which is funded by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
These mini-grants will fund youth-planned, youth-led projects within Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City, to be completed by June 9, 2023. A total of $6,000 is available, for requests not to exceed $1,000 each.
“These mini-grants offer our youth the opportunity to take ownership of the positive change they’d like to see in how we discuss and engage with mental health concerns”, says Chad Christian, WHPP team’s mini grant coordinator.
"Youth are our leaders. Their voices are a powerful tool for change and these grants can support them as they lead the way to reduce the stigma associated with mental health concerns and prevent suicide”, adds Marla Zometsky, Manager of CSB Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention services. In addition to the goal of reducing the stigma around mental illness, the mini-grants also aim to promote help-seeking behaviors. While mental health concerns and disorders are common, frank discussions about them are not a common occurrence. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24. "Far too often, stigma prevents people from getting the care they need and deserve. Stigma, coupled with stressors of our experiences during the pandemic, trauma and systemic racism, further impacts our physical and mental health,” says Zometsky.
Proposals are due December 12, 2022 and awardees will be announced Friday, December 16, 2022
Contact Information: Contact for news media inquiries: Lisa Flowers, Communications Director, 571-474-5435 (cell) or 703-324-7006 (office).