MADISON, NJ - The Madison Area YMCA is happy to announce that The Glasser Foundation has awarded a grant of nearly $40,000 over three years to support the Community Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) and Project Community Pride of the Madison Area YMCA.

The grant will subsidize the cost of Mental Health First Aid training for community members with the goal of training 75-100 lay people per year; partially endow a CMHI trainer position; fund trainer certifications in Youth Mental Health First Aid for two staff members; and underwrite a no-fee speaker series.

“We are delighted and grateful for the generosity and caring of The Glasser Foundation, which shares the Y’s passion to meet a major need for mental health services in our community,” said Diane Mann, Madison Area YMCA President and CEO. “Through high-impact programs such as the Community Mental Health Initiative and Project Community Pride, this multi-year grant will help the Y to fill a major gap in healthcare services.”

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The Y’s Community Mental Health Initiative raises awareness and lowers the stigma associated with mental illness. CHMI also focuses on reducing barriers to mental health care by providing community members with knowledge and skills to increase help-offering behaviors. The Y provides opportunities to become certified in Mental Health First Aid. An evidence-based skills training course, MHFA, is designed for non-mental health professionals, preparing them to know how to help reduce the social distance between people with mental illnesses and others.

Project Community Pride of the Madison Area YMCA, a no-fee youth counseling service, is an important extension of youth development services for children, teens and their families. This public-private partnership is made possible through a collaboration among the Y, the Boroughs of Chatham, Madison and Florham Park and the Madison and Florham Park Boards of Education and the School District of The Chathams. This year the program received a Public-Private Partnership Award from the New Jersey League of Municipalities for its innovation in partnering varied agencies to optimize services to meet significant community service needs. Project Community Pride counseling services are provided in the schools and at the program’s offices by licensed clinical social workers. The program is the only one of its kind in New Jersey, and one of few in the country. Services are provided by licensed clinical social workers who address topics such as bullying, managing family conflict and navigating teens’ social pressures.

The Madison Area YMCA is a 501c(3) cause-driven charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Generous donations make it possible for everyone in the community to be enriched by the Y, regardless of ability to pay, to develop a healthy spirit, mind and body at any age.