Catalyst Endowment Fund 2022 Topic: ABC’s of Mental Health

The kids are in crisis. Trauma. Depression. Self-harm. Addiction. 

Children and youth are facing a very real mental health crisis, with many national medical organizations declaring this a national state of emergency. Physical isolation, ongoing uncertainly, fear and grief are leading causes for this crisis, exacerbated by the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racially-based systemic inequities. What are the causes, what are the barriers, and what are the solutions?  

Visit the Catalyst Endowment Fund homepage for more information about the fund.

2022 Timeline

March 16, 2022: Review. Revisit. Renew. Session Recording

This special session was added for members to hear about the impact of past grants from the Catalyst Endowment Fund. The full meeting recording is below. 

April 28, 2022: ABC's of Mental Health - 1st Educational Session Recording

On Thursday, April 28th Catalyst Endowment Fund members and their guests attended the first educational session focused on the mental health crisis children and youth currently face, exacerbated by the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racially-based systemic inequities. 

Featured panelists included:

  • Liany Elba Arroyo, MPH, CPH: Director of Hartford’s Department of Health and Human Services, City of Hartford
  • Dr. Melissa Santos: Division Head of Pediatric Psychology, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
  • Kim Stevenson: founding member of Friends for Equity in Avon Schools
  • Caitlin Garcia-Stevenson: Student Leader, Avon High School Voices for Equity

The meeting was livestreamed for those who could be in attendance at the Pond House Cafe. A full recording of the program is below. 

June 22, 2022: ABC's of Mental Health - 2nd Educational Session Recording

On Wednesday, June 22, Catalyst Endowment Fund members and their guests attended the second educational session focused on youth mental health, resources available to families and children, as well as exploring the greatest challenges for families and the providers who seek to help.

Featured panelists included:

  • Jeana Bracey, Ph.D.: Associate Vice President of School and Community Initiatives at the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut
  • Dr. Laine Taylor: Child Psychiatrist and Medical Director at The Village for Families & Children
  • Marisa Giarnella-Porco, LCSW: President and CEO of the Jordan Porco Foundation

A full recording of the program is below. 

Oct. 25, 2022 | 7:00 – 8:30 PM: Grantmaking Meeting

As the final Catalyst Endowment Fund meeting of 2022, members met via Zoom to vote on which programs to fund. Grants were awarded to Our Piece of the Pie (OPP) and My Sisters’ Place (MSP). For more information on this meeting, click here.


View a current list of mental health articles from Connecticut Children's, here