• Mission: The Mountain View-based Community Health Awareness Council, now in its 45th year, continues to provide individual mental health counseling, classes and group support services in schools and to residents of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and surrounding communities.
“CHAC is a significant part of our community’s emotional safety net,” said Executive Director Marsha Deslauriers.
• 2018 update: CHAC sees individuals, couples and children at its clinic, with fees based on a sliding income scale. The agency’s programs include substance abuse intervention for individuals and groups, assessments for learning and emotional challenges, family resource centers supporting parents and their children up to age 5, LGBTQI+ support and a peer-to-peer Latinx support program.
CHAC supports children and families who may be experiencing bullying, divorce, housing or food insecurity, substance abuse/addiction issues, grief and/or a history of domestic violence, all of which can manifest as depression, anxiety, physical symptoms or poor academic performance. CHAC also provides crisis counseling teams when a school or a community experiences sudden trauma and needs immediate support in the aftermath.
“CHAC hosts a doctoral internship program which aims to cultivate innovation and high training standards for tomorrow’s mental health providers at a time when lack of providers is a major contributor to the problems people have accessing services when they need them most,” said Ron Pilato, chief psychologist and director of clinical training.
• Why the Holiday Fund is needed: CHAC relies on community support and partnerships to fulfill its mission. Donations from individuals, organizations, foundations, local schools and cities help CHAC meet the community’s need for mental health services and develop new programs to address critical societal issues such as social media addiction or school suicides. Such partnerships enable the organization to serve 34 schools in four school districts and impact more than 14,000 people each year.
Support from the 2018 Holiday Fund will enable CHAC to continue its work with parents, teachers and school administrators in supporting and encouraging children and youth to be their best and most resilient selves.
Community Health Awareness Council
Location: 590 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View
Annual budget: $4 million
Staff: 32 employees; 75 therapists