WCS staff talking to team member

MBHP Award Will Support Access to Behavioral Health for TLC Community

March 23, 2022

Walden Community Services (WCS) at the Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) was recently awarded grant funding from Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) to increase access to and engagement in behavioral healthcare for diverse populations.

WCS will use the funding to contract with cross-cultural experts in working with deaf and signing youth and local Deaf stakeholders of color to develop and implement training for mental health clinicians and staff. The funding will primarily be used within its Walden Community Services (WCS) comprehensive behavioral health program, which serves families and individuals across the State.

The goal for the funding include identifying a well-rounded racial trauma curriculum that will match the spectrum of our deaf/hh population including all the representation from race, gender, sexuality, ability and class; revising the curriculum to a deaf-centric and ASL based for accessibility; the training will be part of a pilot study for the cross-functional teams (WCS and WS clinicians to support the trauma-informed infused with racial trauma in one curriculum for our deaf/hh population.

“It is critical that we bridge the gap between mental health and racial trauma. Not only is there an immense void in behavioral health to address this, but it’s critical to use intersectional lenses when providing trauma-informed services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. Navigating this work requires meaningful and intentional training and conversations,” Elisa Valles, Director of Walden Community Services. “I am thrilled MBHP shares our mission to work toward creating equitable access to mental health and has chosen TLC to be a grant recipient.”

Beacon Health Options is committed to advancing health equity so that all people can receive individualized care that demonstrates cultural humility and improves health and wellbeing. As part of this commitment, The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) recently awarded more than $130K in grants to five organizations from across the Commonwealth, chosen from more than 100 entries submitted. 

This funding is the first round of a grant cycle that will ultimately distribute $250K in grants focused on this pressing issue. MBHP is a Beacon Health Options company and a leader in helping people lead healthier lives through access to critical services.