We’re thrilled to share updates from some of our recent grant recipients!
Friendship Circle – UMatter Program
To date, 2019 Grant Recipient, Friendship Circle, has spent almost half of their $102,500 grant supporting the UMatter Program. UMatter’s program goals are to eliminate mental health stigma in the community, connect teens with each other, and provide opportunities to have conversations about things that matter. To achieve these goals, UMatter engages local teens and community members in activities like Teen Talks and bonding events, SafeTALK sucicde alertness training workshops, UMatter Weeks in schools, community events and the UMatter Parent Program.
Friendship Circle has seen the effects of the pandemic on teens both directly and indirectly. From the fear of getting sick, changes in routine, adjusting to alternative ways of learning & socializing and missing significant life events, the pandemic has impacted many adolescents’ social, emotional and mental well-being. The UMatter program has experienced an increase in teens reaching out for support and crisis intervention services.
With funding from Impact100 Oakland County, Friendship Circle’s UMatter Program has been able to meet the growing demand for their “Teen Talks”. These, non-therapy conversation groups, led by teens provide a safe and accepting environment to have open conversations. They have been integral to providing support, connection and community during a challenging time and have aided in UMatter’s mission to eliminate mental health stigma. “Teen Talks” has expanded from three, six-week sessions offered annually to a bi-monthly program.
The community-building environment created during UMatter Week’s has been critical as students navigate the pandemic. UMatter Weeks have been held in 20 schools across Oakland County and focus on positivity and strength as a mechanism for a culture shift. It provides a platform and creative activities for schools to encourage students, teachers, and staff to have conversations about mental health and wellness.
Over 200 parents were trained in the UMatter Parent Program. This program is dedicated to educating parents, resource sharing, and community building. Friendship Circle contracted a professional educator to develop and launch a six-week parenting seminar. The course is designed to give participants the tools to discover the deep, fundamental qualities of great parenting and provide a safe and understanding environment to have open discussions.
Families Against Narcotic’s COMEBACK Quick Response Team
Since receiving an Impact100 Oakland County grant in 2020, Families Against Narcotics has been busy implementing their COMEBACK Quick Response Team across Oakland County. The COMEBACK QUICK Response Team is an evidence-based intervention that aims to assist survivors of drug overdoses. Within days of a person experiencing a non-fatal drug overdose, a Quick Response Team — comprised of a police officer, a medical professional and recovery coach — will perform a post-overdose wellness check to offer the individual the help and resources they deserve.
Specifically, FAN has executed Data-Sharing/Memorandum of Understanding Agreements with Berkeley Department of Public Safety, Madison Heights Police Department, Troy Police Department, Oak Park Department of Public Safety & Farmington Hills Police Department. These contracts allow local law enforcement, EMS and public safety departments to inform FAN’s QRT when a non-fatal overdose occurs. Allowing the QRT to visit the survivor within 24-72 hours of the incident, which is the small window of time when most people are receptive to receiving care.
FAN has hired Peer and Family Recovery Coaches for Berkely Department of Public Safety, Madison Heights Police Department and Oak Park Department of Public Safety. QRT Training for both the Peer and Family Recovery Coaches and Police Officers was conducted for these agencies as well. With the support of Impact100 Oakland County’s funding, these QRT teams have offered resources and support to over 81 families and over 30% have accepted services offered through the QRT program.
Staffing shortages across police departments in our county and gaps in access to data have slowed their spend on this program and FAN has requested an extension of the program to June of 2022. This will allow them to work with the MDHHS and National Sherriff’s associate to resolve these issues that are not unique to FAN’s QRT.
DAPCEP – Combatting the COVID-19 Slide: STEM Academics for Southfield Youth
2020 Grant Recipient DAPCEP is helping to combat the COVID-19 Slide using STEM academics. Their project engages Southfield students in out-of-school time science, technology, engineering, and math courses to augment the learning loss exacerbated by school closures and virtual learning.
To date, DAPCEP has held partnership meetings with Southfield Public School District Superintendent and curriculum staff. They’ve completed course planning and registration for three virtual programs – Fundamentals of Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence & Intro to Computer Science & Problems Solving in Partnership. Virtual summer camps were planned and facilitated. K-2 students explored engineering with a Rigamjig Set, grade students 6th-8th explored math and science enrichment topics and participated in a STEM Day with 3 workshops led by corporate employees in STEM fields.
Looking to the future, DAPCEP reserved 200 spots for Southfield students to attend the Black Engineer of the Year Awards, a virtual conference scheduled for February. They’ve also secured 10 spots for southfield students to participate in a new signature program in partnership with Ford Motor Company.
Over the next few weeks a full review of the project will take place. Evaluation of pre & post tests, attitudinal end-of-course surveys, and attendance data will be completed and a comprehensive analysis including observation feedback will be conducted.