Children’s Grief Center of El Paso receives $111k for mental wellness projects

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health announced Wednesday that it has awarded $1,000,000 for the Communities for Children grants, and an El Paso organization was included in the funding.

The Children’s Grief Center of El Paso was awarded $111,000 as part of the million dollar grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).

The goal of the initiative is to help advance racial equity and support student mental wellness in communities significantly impacted by COVID-19. Using the CZI funds, the Hogg Foundation designed the Communities for Children initiative.

The center has served the El Paso area as an incorporated non-profit children’s grief support service agency since 1995. The mission of the agency is to promote healing and emotional wellness for grieving children, teens and their families after the loss of a loved one by providing loving support and education.

The grants will enhance or expand existing programs focused on positively impacting well-being, improving academic achievement and providing relief from COVID-19 for students of color and their families.

“The evidence is growing that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely have a generational impact,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation and senior associate vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. “There will be an urgent need to continue to bolster the emotional well-being of kids once the pandemic has receded from the headlines. The time to start that is now.”

The 2021 Communities for Children grantees are

“The supportive infrastructure children, youth and families need to thrive Is under tremendous strain right now,” said Vicky Coffee, director of programs for the Hogg Foundation. “The grant partners awarded play a key role in helping families thrive in the midst of such uncertainty.

The COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and the economic recession have hit communities of color the hardest. This has presented new and unexpected challenges for schools, and these challenges are likely to continue and evolve throughout the current school year and beyond.

The Communities for Children Initiative addresses systemic inequities and supports schools and organizations working against the tide of poor mental health resulting from the pandemic.