June 14, 2024 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation (SDF) and San Diego Women’s Foundation, a supporting organization of SDF, today announced $875,000 in grant awards to local nonprofits that provide mental and behavioral health services and support to children, youth and families.

“Thriving children and families are an important component of a healthy, resilient region,” said Pamela Gray Payton, SDF VP, Chief Impact & Partnerships Officer. “Our collaborative grantmaking with the San Diego Women’s Foundation helps provide the much-needed culturally responsive and trauma-informed services that children and families need to flourish.”

According to the 2023 California Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative report, “Youth at the Center: Calls-to-action for a reimagined behavioral health ecosystem from children, youth and families across California,” our state has seen the second largest increase in depression and anxiety among youth in the nation. Alarmingly, 65% of California’s young people with depression do not receive the mental health treatment they need due to a lack of access to services.

SDF awarded $650,000 to the following organizations:

  • Alliant Educational Foundation – $40,000 to empower underserved children and families with high-quality, trauma-informed mental healthcare in partnership with local youth-serving nonprofits.
  • Casa de Amparo – $35,000 to transform trauma into triumph for foster youth ages 12–18 by providing 24/7 wraparound care and trauma-informed mental and behavioral health assessment, treatment and therapeutic services.
  • Center for Community Solutions – $35,000 to provide tailored, one-on-one advocacy services, including crisis intervention, safety assessments, goal planning and referrals to therapists for children in domestic violence shelters.
  • Crisis House – $40,000 to address challenges faced by youth who have been exposed to domestic violence and other acute childhood experiences (ACEs) by providing individual/group therapy.
  • Interfaith Community Services – $35,000 to provide mental health screening, education, and treatment to children and families working to overcome homelessness in the Emergency Family Shelter.
  • Just in Time for Foster Youth – $40,000 to close the crucial gap for foster youth ages 18-26 affected by mental health issues by expanding Rise to Resilience community-based services, including in-house therapy.
  • Logan Heights Community Development Corporation – $40,000 to increase access to mental/behavioral health services by providing licensed therapists for youth at risk for future involvement in the juvenile justice system and youth arrested or referred to probation.
  • Mending Matters – $40,000 to expand access to free, high-quality, school-based mental health care for underserved youth and families in the Mountain Empire Unified School District.
  • North County LGBTQ Resource Center – $40,000 to provide free, accessible, culturally expert, trauma-informed individual, family, couples and group therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) children and their loved ones in North San Diego County.
  • Open Heart Leaders – $30,000 to expand counseling to students and families that lack mental health support and were affected by the recent floods, incorporating trauma-informed practices to address deficits and aid students’ well-being.
  • Promises2Kids – $40,000 to ensure access for current and former foster youth to trauma-informed mental and behavioral health resources, including therapy and supportive services that facilitate their recovery and resiliency.
  • San Diego American Indian Health Center – $40,000 to provide parenting courses and mental health support programs as an adjunct to the baby to 8-year-old child development screening and care coordination program for children experiencing further need.
  • San Diego Rescue Mission – $30,000 to provide comprehensive trauma-informed care to homeless single-parent families, focusing on educational literacy, social-emotional resilience and mental health support.
  • San Diego Youth Services – $35,000 to support positive youth development and provide evidence-based mental health practices designed to address the varied social and economic forces that negatively impact the mental, emotional and behavioral health of opportunity youth.
  • transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project – $30,000 to provide young people, ages 9 – 24, from marginalized communities access to dance and expressive arts opportunities, a social change curriculum, mentorship, and mental and behavioral health and wellness services.
  • Union of Pan Asian Communities – $35,000 to decrease the waitlist for children, youth and families in the community wanting to access low/no-cost mental health services to aid in treating symptoms including depression, anxiety, trauma, and other mood and thought disorders.
  • United Women of East Africa Support Team – $35,000 to provide East African refugee families with culturally sensitive activities focused on life skills, wellness, and community connection to promote resilience and health equity, address trauma and isolation, and enhance quality of life.
  • Urban Restoration Counseling Center – $30,000 to provide reunification services for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) families and work to heal intergenerational traumas through individual and family counseling.

The grant awards are connected to the SDF Healthy Children & Families Initiative, which supports expanded access to critical services for children, youth and families in our region. Since launching the initiative in 2021, SDF has granted more than $1.1 million to local nonprofits that have provided mental and behavioral health screenings, counseling and other services to over 20,000 children and their families.

San Diego Women’s Foundation grantees will each receive $75,000 in unrestricted grant funding, allowing them the flexibility to support their work to provide mental health interventions to middle- and/or junior high-aged youth, ages 12 – 14, for either one or two years. This year’s San Diego Women’s Foundation grantees include:

  • Mending Matters – addressing the primary stressors faced by middle school students and the areas of life where they have requested the most support, guided by their student-centered development model.
  • Monarch School Project – supporting school-based mental health services that provide an access point for early intervention in a familiar environment with established relationships.
  • Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) San Diego – providing critical support to mental health staff, including expanded licensed clinical supervision, upskilling/professional development, program supplies and wraparound support to struggling youth.

About San Diego Women’s Foundation

Founded in 2000, The San Diego Women’s Foundation connects, educates and inspires women to come together in collective philanthropy. The contributions and talents of the 200+ SDWF members have resulted in over $5.3 million in grants that have been awarded to over 100 nonprofit programs, touching thousands of lives in and around San Diego. For additional information, visit www.sdwomensfoundation.org.

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. San Diego Foundation is dedicated to helping San Diego County’s nearly 700,000 residents under the age of 18 and 200,000 under the age of 5 grow, learn and thrive. For more than 49 years, SDF and its donors have granted $1.8 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org.


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation, lruggero@sdfoundation.org, 619-814-1365
Angela Fujii, San Diego Women’s Foundation, afujii@sdfoundation.org