Supporting Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) of the North Bay, a beneficiary of Auction Napa Valley funding, has a longstanding history of serving the Napa Valley. The first chapter of BBBS of Marin began...
Aldea works to reduce the prevalence and severity of behavioral health problems throughout the Napa Valley. During its last fiscal year, it trained more than 160 first responders, school personnel and educators, primary care professionals, family resource centers staff and members of the general public to identify, understand, and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness. This has been tremendously successful increasing awareness, promoting competency, and reducing stigma.
Aldea's Early Childhood Mental Health collaborative works to reduce risk factors associated with child abuse and mental illness through a community-wide coordination of efforts targeting prevention and early intervention by providers. Among other elements of the project, Aldea provides consultation and promotes coordination of prevention efforts for all collaborative members. Additionally, Aldea serves as a community resource to promote prevention efforts in school-based settings, with therapists co-located in more than 20 schools in the Napa Valley Unified School District and St. Helena School Districts to promote an integrated, community-wide response to mental health needs and provide consultative or preventative support.
AAA offers the Stop Falls Napa Valley (SFNV) program, which is designed to significantly reduce falls among older adults, which can decrease quality of life, and result in injury, nursing home placement or death. Strategies link healthcare institutions, seniors and community providers to resources and services, using health promotion strategies to reach the broad population of seniors, and interventions to helping vulnerable, low-income seniors and disabled adults address falls risk.
The program focuses on: strengthening individual knowledge and skills: promoting community education, educating providers; fostering coalitions; changing organizational practices; and influencing policies. Strategies include: 1) providing free screening, multi-factorial assessment and referral to resources for 60 older adults in partnership with healthcare and institutional providers (e.g., QVMC Emergency Department); providing home and risk factor assessments by an occupational therapist; offering client education, and coordinating interventions identified by the therapist, including home modification, rehabilitation therapy, exercise programs, and durable medical equipment; and referral and follow-up to resources for specialized services to address unmet needs. 2. Providing training and technical assistance to 40 service providers of at-risk older adults to increase knowledge, skills, and awareness of resources and opportunities. 3. Providing community outreach and education workshops to 200 people on fall risk reduction. 4. Convening stakeholders in the SFNV Coalition to increase coordination, and influence policies and organizational change.
One of the biggest barriers to effective parenting is when adults are unable to manage their own emotions and cope with their own problems that are triggered by stressors, including interactions with their children. So one area of emphasis for FSNV involves expanding therapeutic services for parents that focus on assisting them to address their own mental health problems while learning better parenting skills. By virtue of helping parents to be more emotionally balanced and better equipped to respond to the needs of their children, we are working to prevent the development of mental and physical problems in their kids that can last a lifetime and impact their health as adults.
This assertion is supported by “The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, conducted by Kaiser and the Center for Disease Control, “revealed a powerful relationship between our emotional experiences as children and our physical and mental health as adults.” This study was based upon eight categories of childhood abuse and household dysfunction (Felitti & Anda, 2002).
FSNV therapists treat children and adults who have endured adverse childhood experiences— physical and emotional abuse and neglect, violence, heavy drug/alcohol use, and mental illness—that were emotionally scarring, disrupt functioning, and impede their ability to engage in social and intimate relationships.
And to provide seniors with support services that helps them to establish and maintain their ability to live as independently as possible without the need for more intensive, invasive, and costly services, FSNV also participates in a collaborative of older adult service providers to offer seniors preventive and early intervention services.
Rianda House offers a comprehensive menu of weekly activities and services to enrich the lives of mature adults in our community by providing the tools and resources to support the three building blocks of longevity: physical, mental and social awareness.
The Community Connections program refers seniors to high-quality, professional programs and services. Our collaborative connections with more than 25 organizations and experts specializing in senior adult care make Rianda House an effective channel to easily obtain assistance beyond our internal capability while avoiding duplication of existing services.
The Healthy Minds/Healthy Bodies program provides informative wellness and preventative health offerings, including physical exercise, brain health activities, senior nutrition, fall prevention, health screenings, and chronic disease education.
Friends for Life is the social component of Rianda House, and brings seniors together to share common interests, diminishing feelings of isolation and loneliness. Included are: book clubs, creative writing workshop, art classes, current events and foreign policy discussion groups, board games, excursions and Arts & Lecture events.
Activities and services are offered through partnerships with one of our 25 outside service agencies and organizations and through programs delivered internally. We coordinate all program efforts including marketing and scheduling of activities. This resource efficient model links outside organizations providing best practices, staff and expertise with our facility, staff and volunteers to support on-site administration.
NVHADS's core programs, especially Adult Day Services, work to prevent unnecessary hospitalization and emergency room visits through collaboration among NVHADS staff, volunteers, family members and participant's physicians
The organization will also soon launch a collaborative program with a local hospital to provide hospital discharge follow-up to prevent readmissions. Educational events, trainings and consultations offer family caregivers ongoing support and education about caring for themselves before their own health becomes a problem and they can no longer care for their loved ones. In addition, NVHADS volunteers assist families by providing visits, companionship and emotional support, offering respite for caregivers and helping with errands and transportation.
By the end of 2012, all program staff will be trained in fall prevention. During 2004, nearly 500 older adults in Napa were hospitalized due to falls, which cost $17 million. ADS programs also include fall risk assessments, balance and mobility activities, and screening for other health issues that increase fall risk.
Additionally, the NVHADS School Bereavement Program addresses unresolved grief in school-age students, which can lead to behavioral and emotional problems with lifelong consequences: substance abuse, aggression, self-violence, poor academic performance, and social withdrawal. On-campus weekly school bereavement sessions provide a safe, consistent, and reassuring place for youth with active grief symptoms to learn new ways of coping.
Wolfe Center school-based services focus on reducing risk behaviors and fostering positive youth development. Prevention and intervention services include the Insight and COSAP (Children of Substance Abusing Parents) programs, which target students who are experimenting with alcohol or other drugs, or students whose parents are abusing alcohol or other drugs. Groups focus on resiliency, life skills, youth development, and drug and alcohol education.
A Brief Intervention program is provided individually and in groups to students who need more intensive intervention services. Wolfe Center is also piloting a new program called Project SUCCESS, which employs interventions to reduce risk factors and prevent and reduce substance use and abuse. The program provides universal prevention education to all 9th graders and referral to a menu of more intensive services for those students using alcohol or other drugs. Project SUCCESS also includes school-wide awareness activities and other related events. This year, Wolfe Center is promoting community prevention in Calistoga, St. Helena and American Canyon by providing parent education groups in the family resource centers to increase awareness of adolescent substance abuse. The curriculum is designed to educate parents on alcohol and other drugs, adolescent patterns of use, parental strategies for communicating with teenagers, and available community resources.