ParentClick Santa Barbara

Local Youth Education Program Awarded ALKERMES Inspiration Grant™


The Mental Wellness Center recently announced receipt of a $15,000 ALKERMES Inspiration Grant to support its Mental Health Matters program, an innovative curriculum that teaches sixth and ninth grade students basic facts about mental wellness, how to recognize symptoms of mental health disorders and how to seek treatment, while addressing the stigma associated with mental illness.

Developed by the Education Committee of the Mental Wellness Center, the program is currently being taught in 35 classrooms in Santa Barbara.

“The Mental Wellness Center is grateful to receive this prestigious award for our Mental Health Matters program, supporting our efforts to increase students’ understanding of mental illness,” said Annmarie Cameron, CEO of the Mental Wellness Center. “The award is a testament to the dedication of our team of incredible teachers, who are committed to educating our youth about mental health and reducing the stigma that so often prevents people from seeking necessary treatment.”

A recent study conducted by UCSB researchers to determine the program’s effectiveness found an increase in students’ knowledge of mental illness and a decrease in the stigma associated with it. The Alkermes grant will allow further assessment of the curriculum to stimulate dissemination and replication.

The competitive grant program was designed to fund innovative and high-impact programs to support people affected by mental health and substance use disorders.

More than 300 proposals were received from local, regional and national non-profit organizations across the United States. The Mental Wellness Center was one of fifteen recipients selected to receive a grant for programs demonstrating the potential for high-impact, an ability to be replicated across the ecosystem and/or inventive, and creative approaches to support the broader needs of people in the mental health and addiction communities.

For more information about the Mental Wellness Center, please call (805) 884-8440 or visit

About the Mental Wellness Center
The Mental Wellness Center is a private, non-profit organization that recognizes that mental illness is a community matter that affects us all. The Mental Wellness Center is dedicated to meeting the needs of individuals and families affected by mental illness, through support, education, and direct services.

January 9, 2017

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