UCSF-led community mental health initiative commended for promoting health equity

The UCSF Center for Community Engagement has bestowed its 2017 Excellence in Partnership Community Health and Policy Development Award to the Tipping Point Mental Health Initiative, a collaboration between Tipping Point Community and the UCSF Child Trauma Research Program. The program and its leaders were saluted during the center's annual Partnerships Celebration on Oct. 19 at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.

The Mental Health Initiative was created to build the capacity of Tipping Point’s grantees to deliver high-quality, culturally appropriate mental health services to their clients, and serve families living in low-income communities and exposed to multiple adversities and traumatic stressors. In partnership with UCSF and other experts in the field, Tipping Point grantees receive a combination of direct services from clinical staff and post-doctoral interns, agency-specific training, and consultation.

The partnership is co-led by Tipping Point strategic partnerships manager Becca Truit and UCSF Psychiatry faculty member Miriam Hernandez Dimmler, PhD.

Since the initiative’s inception in 2008, more than 800 families have been referred to services through the Tipping Point Mental Health Initiative. In addition, Tipping Point offers about ten trainings every year for front-line and supervisory staff on a variety of mental health topics, including the impact of trauma on academic achievement, motivational interviewing, and self-care. Last year, 37 grantees participated in these training sessions, which reached over 230 staff members.

"It is a humbling experience to receive this recognition," said Hernandez Dimmler, "but what I am most proud of is that the Tipping Point Mental Health Initiative started off as a three-year pilot project that has gone strong for almost 10 years thanks to Tipping Point's generosity and our wonderful community partners."

Modeled on the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health's Annual Award, UCSF's Excellence in Partnership Award recognizes exemplary partnerships between San Francisco communities and UCSF that build on each other’s strengths to improve higher education, civic engagement, and the overall health of communities.

The intent of the award is to highlight the power and potential of university-community partnerships as a strategy for social justice. The award recognizes partnerships that are striving to achieve the systems and policy changes needed to overcome the root causes of health inequities.

The UCSF Child Trauma Research Program is nationally recognized for its leadership in developing effective, family-centered interventions for children aged zero through five who experience traumatic events such as violence in the home or community; death of a loved one; or life-threatening accidents, illnesses, or disasters. Founded in 1996, the program is located at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Since 2001, the Child Trauma Research Program has been the lead program of the Early Trauma Treatment Network, a center of the federally-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay and Laurel Heights, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System and UCSF Fresno.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals – UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.