Alkermes PLC (NASDAQ: ALKS), a global biopharmaceutical company developing medicines for the treatment of central nervous system diseases, has awarded the Mental Wellness Center with a $15,000 grant to support its Mental Health Matters program.
Mental Health Matters is 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. “We have learned that our efforts to develop innovative new medicines to treat those affected by mental health and substance use disorders only address part of the needs of patients and their families,” said Richard Pops, CEO of Alkermes. “To most effectively address the myriad of other needs of those suffering from addiction and mental illness, a whole societal infrastructure must be in place and operational. We often take this for granted, but services for these disease areas are desperately needed. This program seeks to support ideas within the community to catalyze change.” Awards went to large advocacy organizations, academic institutions and regional organizations. The selected programs include initiatives focused on peer support; connecting individuals to appropriate care, wellness and skill development in the criminal justice system; youth education and support services, as well as programs designed to help others understand the experience of individuals living with mental health conditions and substance use disorders. To view the full list of recipients and reviewers, please click here.
For more information on ALKERMES Inspiration Grants program, please visit www.alkermes.com/inspirationgrants.