For Immediate Release
Hanna Center awarded county contract to provide mental health services to students in Sonoma Valley
SANTA ROSA, CA | February 06, 2024
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal today by Hanna Center to provide mental health counseling to students in Sonoma Valley, ensuring these vital services continue without interruption.
Social Advocates for Youth, a Santa Rosa nonprofit that was awarded a contract in 2022 to provide these services, notified the county on Dec. 21 that it could no longer serve Sonoma Valley students in the program and asked to end its contract. Over the next six weeks, the county Human Services Department put a plan in place to maintain these critical services and received applications from five different service providers willing to immediately step in and assume the contract.
“We had to be nimble and work quickly to ensure the students served by this program did not slip through the cracks,” said District 1 Supervisor Susan Gorin, who represents the Sonoma Valley. “Mental health services are desperately needed in the Sonoma Valley. While this won’t come close to satisfying that need, we are grateful that we have capable mental health providers in the Valley who were willing to take over this important project.”
The Sonoma Valley project was part of the county’s Community Resilience Program, which was created by the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to help people most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. The Board awarded $40 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to 27 community-based projects targeting a wide range of needs across Sonoma County, including food and financial assistance, mental health services, housing and education.
Hanna Center will take over a Social Advocates for Youth project that provides individual mental health services and either group or individual grief services to students, and school-based training to teachers and administrators. The goal is to support students who do not have access to mental health care and to support school staff so that they have the tools to understand the needs behind what could be categorized as misbehavior.
Hanna Center, a nonprofit celebrating its 75th year in Sonoma, provides trauma-informed care, education, transitional housing and other services to youth. It will receive up to $574,690 to fulfill the terms of the county contract through the end of 2024.
Social Advocates for Youth, which works with former foster children and homeless youth, remains a valued partner of the county. Overall, the county is providing more than $4.05 million in support for SAY this fiscal year, including $1.85 million for contracts with the Human Services Department and $2.2 million for contracts with the Department of Health Services.