March 7, 2023 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation (SDF) announced today the availability of $500,000 in grant funding through its Healthy Children & Families Initiative to support access to culturally responsive and trauma-informed mental and behavioral health resources for local youth, children and families.

“Many children and young adults lack access to important supportive services that promote mental and behavioral well-being,” said Katie Rast, SDF Director, Community Impact. “As we work toward just, equitable and resilient communities, it is imperative to provide accessible mental and behavioral services for the children and families who need support.”

Launched in fall 2021 in response to a coalition of the nation’s leading experts in pediatric health declaring a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health, the SDF Healthy Children & Families Initiative addresses gaps in access to critical services in the region.

Nonprofit organizations are invited to apply for up to $40,000 in Healthy Children & Families grant funding through 5 p.m., Friday, April 7. Applicants are encouraged to address service and support for low-to-moderate-income families, populations that are historically underrepresented, and those negatively impacted by social determinants of health, including the nonmedical factors that influence health outcomes or the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age. Successful grants will include at least one of the following:

  • Mental/behavioral health screening and treatment: Implement trauma-informed and culturally responsive programs or projects that address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) or other mental/behavioral challenges for children of all ages, parents and/or caregivers.
  • Outreach and education to increase access to mental health supports: Ensure that children and families are knowledgeable and have access to high-quality, affordable and culturally responsive mental and behavioral healthcare through outreach, education and navigation efforts.
  • Supportive interventions: Provide trauma-informed interventions for children, parents and/or caregivers to support mental and behavioral wellness.

Proposals can include, but are not limited to, creative youth development programs, family-centered interventions, peer-to-peer support, coaching and mentoring, or other programs promoting resiliency. A Q&A webinar will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 22. For more information or to apply, visit

According to the December 2020 report “Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs),” ACEs and trauma represent an urgent public health crisis with wide-reaching health and societal impacts.

Informed by this report, as well as by regional data and local health care providers and experts, mental and behavioral health challenges are recognized as important issues that impact many children, families and service providers that deliver care in San Diego County. Since its launch, the SDF Healthy Children & Families Initiative has invested more than $600,000 in mental and behavioral health resources that have served more than 15,000 children and families throughout the region.

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Healthy Children & Families Initiative advances community resilience through health equity and increases the quality of life for children and families through expanded access to supportive services. For more than 47 years, SDF and its donors have granted more than $1.4 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation,, 619-814-1365