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Support during the pandemic results in a stronger CHC today
During the height of the pandemic, when CHC was experiencing 150% increase in call volume, the agency was awarded a $2.5 million grant from #StartSmall to build capacity and increase the availability of affordable and accessible mental health care for youth and families. Two years later, CHC is deeply grateful for #StartSmall and the many foundations and individuals who answered the call early in the pandemic, ensuring that services to families never stopped and that CHC could emerge from the crisis stronger than ever.
Reaching out and asking for help is one of the most difficult things a parent can do. It’s even harder when the parent makes that call and hears, ‘Sorry we don't have any therapists to help you.’ Thanks to #StartSmall’s support we have not had to do that.” —Dr. Joan Baran, CHC Clinical Director
CHC Clinical Director, Dr. Joan Baran shared the impact a grant like this has on client families: “Reaching out and asking for help is one of the most difficult things a parent can do. It’s even harder when the parent makes that call and hears, ‘Sorry we don’t have any therapists to help you.’ Thanks to #StartSmall’s support we have not had to do that. Being able to hire 7 new clinicians, including one psychiatrist, who culturally and linguistically represent our wonderfully diverse Bay Area has been a game-changer. Now our staff is ready when a family is ready. Simply put, #StartSmall has helped us help so many others.”
In addition to hiring more staff to handle the increased volume, the agency has also seen a decrease in wait time for services. CHC monitors wait times closely with the goal of getting families through the door as quickly as possible. Waiting can be the most frustrating part of accessing care, especially for parents with concerns about their children. One parent shared: “Is there anything scarier than when something is wrong with your child, and you don’t know what to do? CHC not only provided us with a diagnosis but also a customized treatment plan. I literally don’t know where we’d be without CHC.”
Year over year, CHC has seen an overall increase in admissions for Medi-Cal and Private Pay clients in 2021-2022, many of whom require financial aid. The number of unique therapy and evaluation clients has also increased, and the agency provided 28,192 clinical service hours to families, up 20% from 2020-2021. This growth and expanded reach would not be possible without foundation partners like #StartSmall and others who helped build clinical services capacity at CHC.
As expected, demand for mental health services has not abated and CHC continues to grow in order to meet the community’s most critical needs, especially as the agency responds to the U.S. surgeon general’s warning of the “devastating” mental health crisis among our youth. CHC’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Ramsey Khasho concludes: “There is still more work to be done, but with partners like #StartSmall and our loyal network of community supporters, we know we can address the emerging mental health and learning needs of our community’s youth and connect more families to equitable and accessible care.”
#StartSmall is Jack Dorsey’s philanthropic initiative to fund global crisis relief, girls health and education, and efforts towards Universal Basic Income. Dorsey transferred $1 billion (28% of his wealth) to #StartSmall in 2020.