A $50,000 grant from Sherwood Cares, the charitable arm of Sherwood Country Club, will help Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families strengthen and expand mental health programs and services for at-risk children and young adults.

The grant will support the agency’s assessment, residential, clinical and educational programs for youth and foster youth with complex mental and behavioral health issues.

The funding comes at a time when the nation is grappling with a youth mental health crisis. Between 2016 and 2020, the number of children ages 3-17 who were diagnosed with depression grew by 27%, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

From 2019-20, nearly 25% of children nationwide were diagnosed with behavioral problems. And suicide was the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-14 in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Casa Pacifica is the largest nonprofit provider of children and adolescent mental health services in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and actively serves more than 2,000 children and their families every year.

In outpatient, residential, and home and community-based settings, the agency delivers exceptional mental and behavioral health services that address the broad spectrum of needs children and youth face.

One key program is Stepping Stones, which serves transitional-aged youth (18-24 years old) who cannot return home,;lack the support of family or trusted adults; or are not ready to live independently.

The program offers a comprehensive and integrated array of critical support services, including case management, therapy, parenting skills for young adults with children, and vocational and educational skills, with the goal of enhancing young adults’ progression toward greater individual responsibility and independence.

“We are extremely grateful to receive this grant from Sherwood Cares to help fortify our programming to support youth mental health and help young people thrive,” said Shawna Morris, Casa Pacifica CEO.

“As mental health challenges among children and youth are becoming more pervasive and more urgent, Casa Pacifica remains committed to giving vulnerable youth the essential support they need and deserve,” Morris said.

Casa Pacifica will soon be expanding housing for unsheltered and unaccompanied young adults throughout the region. In collaboration with Ventura County, the agency will undertake renovation of three residential care buildings to create 27 suites of housing and wrap-around services for families, pregnant and parenting young adults and single young adults.

Integrated, in-house support services, will include educational, vocational and mental and behavioral health services.

Sherwood Cares has provided more than $3,400,000 in grants to local charitable organizations since its founding in 2012.

“Sherwood Cares’ mission is to support children and families in our community. We are delighted to contribute to the life-changing mental health care provided by Casa Pacifica and to help the agency realize its vision of delivering effective support for children and young people to set them up for lifelong success,” said Jim Pieczynski, grants committee chair, Sherwood Country Club Charitable Foundation.

For more about Casa Pacifica visit www.casapacifica.org or call the Development Department, 805-445-7800.