Navos Mental Health Solutions Launches Community Coalition for Drug Free Youth
Rudy Garza Named Coalition Coordinator
Navos Mental Health Solutions announced it received a King County grant to create a community-based coalition for drug free youth in the Burien/White Center communities and has appointed communications veteran Rudy Garza as Coalition Coordinator.
Navos has been responding to the needs of people with mental illness in King County for over 40-years. Its services are targeted to those who live at or near poverty, often as a result of their mental illness. The mission of Navos is to improve the quality of life of people vulnerable to mental illness by providing a broad continuum of care.
“As part of the work we do with youth, we saw a need to address the substance abuse-related issues among youth in the Burien/White Center community said Joan Zintak, Director of Adult Services.” This five-year grant allows us to collaborate with other agencies, the private and public sector, and the community at-large to better address these issues by providing alternatives,” she added.
King County Department of Community and Human Services has awarded funding to Navos through a prevention contract from the state Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) as part of the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment block grant.
This grant is part of the statewide Prevention Redesign Initiative. It will support coalition development and prevention programming, particularly in the Shorewood neighborhood, which includes Cascade Middle School and high schools on the Evergreen campus. Puget Sound Educational Service District will also assign a Prevention-Intervention Specialist to work in this area beginning with the 2012-13 school year.
“The initial phase of the grant will focus on creating the coalition and developing a plan of action,” explained Zintak. “The process involves not only outreach but also marketing and communications and we felt that Rudy Garza provided a good balance of experience in all of these areas,” she added.
Garza brings more than 35-years experience in marketing, public relations and communications to the coordinator position, with considerable experience in outreach, community and governmental affairs, health and non-profit organizations.
Most recently he was Director of Public Relations and Business Development with Esparza+ Business Communications, a marketing agency specializing in the Hispanic market. Among its clients were health care and social service organizations.
“In the process of applying for the Block Grant, a number of local organizations committed to the coalition,” said Garza. “Additionally, another group of organizations acknowledged interest and so my initial efforts will be to increase the number of participants in the coalition,” he added.
Organizations, private business and individuals interested in learning more about the coalition can contact Garza at Navos Mental Health Solutions, 206-439-2288 or at Rudy.Garza@navos.org.
Navos, a private non profit organization with four locations, delivers critical services that dramatically improve the health and quality of life for 9,000 low-income and vulnerable children and adults annually with serious persistent emotional and mental illness. Through Navos’ range of services – including mental health treatment, primary medical care, job training and supportive housing, people with mental illness are helped to reach their greatest potential for self-sufficiency.