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Press Release

CORE Rolls Out Initiative to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis in California 

May 6, 2024

Los Angeles, CA—CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is pleased to announce a new $973,000 grant from the Public Health Institute. This grant is part of a larger initiative from the California Department of Public Health to address the state’s youth mental health crisis.


Transformative Help for Reducing Inequalities and Valuing Emotions, or THRIVE, is a multi-year program in which CORE will partner with the West Valley Counseling Center’s (WVCC) two clinics in Ventura County and Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley to work with local youth from high-risk communities.


“Children today, with everything going on, from global affairs to social media, are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis and how important positive mental health can be,” said Yosef Jalil, Area Director for CORE’s California Programs. “We’re looking to make a positive impact with THRIVE, which we hope will create systemic change throughout the communities we serve.”


According to a 2022 study from The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, today, roughly 1 in 5 children have experienced struggles with mental health or have been diagnosed with behavior disorders, a reality that many of us are acutely aware of. A recent survey of teens shows that most spend 3.5 hours on social media. Of youth who spend more than 3 hours a day on social media, they face twice the risk of poor mental health outcomes, including depression and anxiety.


CORE and WVCC aim to reach roughly 60,000 individuals from vulnerable communities in the greater Los Angeles area to reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health, provide critical, potentially life-saving resource information, and enhance help-seeking behaviors.


As part of this program, CORE will work with WVCC to create a locally led youth advisory board to help build program awareness through informative campaigns and insights into the pressing needs of today’s youth. This youth advisory board, coupled with regular dialogue with community members, will be crucial to THRIVE’s success.


CORE’s ethos rests in the organization’s vision to support a more equitable world in which underserved communities are prepared and can effectively respond to crises from within. The youth-led and youth-powered THRIVE initiative underscores CORE’s community-oriented solution to address pressing public health concerns.


CORE understands the wide breadth of this crisis and the importance of mental health access for youth, especially those from historically marginalized communities. By addressing the crisis at its source and empowering young people, CORE hopes to uplift entire communities, creating a lasting impact for future generations.


About CORE

Founded after the 2010 Haiti earthquake by Sean Penn and Ann Lee, CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a global humanitarian organization that empowers underserved communities in and beyond crisis. CORE’s community-powered work is informed and fueled by local hands. When crisis strikes, we listen, we learn, and we act quickly to fill gaps, mobilize resources, and develop long-term recovery solutions. With a focus on equity, CORE provides critical relief to marginalized and vulnerable people, from the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and conflict in Ukraine to flood-impacted villages in Pakistan and beyond. Learn more about CORE’s work at www.coreresponse.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, and LinkedIn.