DANA POINT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alter Health Group (AHG) is excited to announce the award of a new grant totaling over $5M from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). With this funding, AHG will be able to extend its mental health services to include the provision of free non-clinical social, emotional, and crisis support to Californians in need as part of the CalHOPE initiative.
This partnership first began in February of 2021, when Alter Health Group received funding from FEMA through the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). This grant was used to provide virtual non-clinical emotional counseling and support through chat at CalHOPE Connect and through voice at AHG’s own crisis hotline, BeWellLine.
The initiative was extremely successful, with the Alter team handling 35K+ counseling encounters across nearly every county in the state of California. Approximately 20K of these were through chat at CalHOPE Connect with 47% returning help seekers. The remaining 15K were callers with a 70% return rate. However, the programs had to be significantly downsized in July, 2022 with the expiration of the FEMA grant.
With this new influential grant, Alter is ready and thrilled to build out its reach larger than ever. Another benefit of this initiative is the employment opportunity for Californians. Individuals chosen for this position are Peer Support Specialists and receive extensive training provided through AHG, along with possessing a personal background that prepares them for this role. Peer Support Specialists are clinically proven to be effective in assisting those in a mental health crisis or in need of emotional support.
“We were honored to be part of the CalHOPE initiative during the Covid-19 pandemic and support thousands of Californians who sought help during this difficult time,” said Dr. Loren Martin, Chief Scientific Officer at Alter Health Group and primary author of the grant. “With this new grant, our goal is to help thousands more in the state as they deal with various life stressors or concerns, whether it’s the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic hardships, or any other life challenges. Our goal has always been to connect with people where they are and provide the social and emotional support they need to overcome difficult circumstances and achieve their goals. It’s initiatives like these that allow us to act on our words.”
To fulfill the objectives of this CalHOPE initiative, Alter Health Group will continue to service CalHOPE Connect to provide chat-based support and the BeWellLine to provide voice-based support, but it will also leverage its Mindfuli platform to provide free ongoing virtual peer counseling services through video conferencing as well as voice and text communication. The Mindfuli virtual care platform also enables peer counselors to refer help seekers to higher levels of care as needed, connecting them to a personalized mental health provider in minutes.
In the upcoming months, Alter Health Group will be utilizing this grant to build out their Peer Support Specialists team, network in the community so this outreach program is known, and continue to do anything possible to make this a success for the residents of California.
About Alter Health Group: Alter Health Group provides a range of mental health services that combines the latest science and evidence-based treatment with compassion and understanding to help clients recover, grow, and build a better life than they had before. To that end, they provide a diverse array of treatments and services by which they aim to promote holistic healing. With several locations in Southern California, they serve people throughout the state of California and beyond.
Learn more at AlterHealthGroup.com and follow along on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.