Community Mini-Grant Recipients Announced for Cecil County Mental Health Initiative

Cecil County, MD – The Cecil County Health Department (CCHD) is pleased to announce the award of eleven community mini-grants to local organizations as part of its countywide mental health initiative. The initiative aims to improve mental health at the community level by improving mental health knowledge and skills among Cecil County residents, improving understanding of existing mental health resources, and fostering stronger social connections through educational activities about mental health and wellness. The community mini-grants aim to strengthen the informal system of mental health care by ensuring Cecil County residents can access mental health support from people like family members, friends, or religious leaders, with whom they already have relationships. 

The recipients include Youth Empowerment Source, PAWS for People, the Live for Thomas Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Freedom Hills, Deep Roots, Community Connecting Us, Cecil College, and Cecil County Public Library. Grant amounts were up to $15,000 for a total of $139,572 in funding.

“We are thrilled to announce these grant recipients and are confident that their efforts will help to strengthen skills and positively impact mental health in our community,” said Lauren Levy, Health Officer for CCHD. “Mental health is a top priority for our county, and we are grateful for the dedication of these organizations to this important cause.”

Each organization is committed to improving mental health in Cecil County and will use the grant funds to support those efforts. Several recipients are utilizing funding to offer evidence-based mental health skills training like Mental Health First Aid. In contrast, others plan to provide innovative programming to foster social connection and improve participants’ mental health. 

“We are deeply grateful to the Cecil County Health Department for providing us with this grant, which will enable us to address the mental health needs of those in our shelter and community. With this funding, we can further our mission of promoting mental wellness and providing practical support to those struggling with mental health issues,” said John Thompson, Executive Director of Deep Roots.

“Increasing Cecil County residents’ access to PAWS DeStress Sessions is providing more people with pet therapy’s many proven benefits to improve their mental well-being. We are teaching people that interacting with a pet is a very effective way to help themselves and others greatly,” said Clarice Ritchie, PAWS Interim Executive Director.  

“These organizations are doing important work to improve mental health in our community, and we are proud to support their efforts,” said Ms. Levy. “We look forward to seeing the impact of these grants and the continued progress of the Mental Health Initiative in Cecil County.”