Qlarant Foundation Grantee Resilience Across Borders Works to Improve Children’s Mental Health

posted on April 25, 2024 by Lisa Blanchfield

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Resilience Across Borders (RAB), a new 2023 Qlarant Foundation grantee, aims to reduce mental health inequities in children of color by expanding access using a school-based intervention. Qlarant Foundation has provided a $35,000 grant to the organization to disseminate a resilience-based, Tier-I intervention to elementary students economically marginalized communities in Washington, DC and Maryland.

“While 49.5% of U.S. children have a mental health disorder, only 7.4% receive even one mental health visit within a year (CMIMH Report, 2015)” said Executive Director Ariana Lobasso. “These disparities are greater among children of color (Marrast, Himmelstein, and Woolhandler, 2016) and those from economically marginalized communities (Santiago, Kaltman, and Miranda, 2013).”

Success Stories LogoThese disparities became more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, when youth of color from low-income families experienced disproportionate increases in psychological and academic difficulties (Brodie et al., 2021; Valenzuela et al., 2020). “In an effort to achieve mental health equity,” continued Lobasso, “it is critical to identify scalable interventions so that affected children can receive mental health services in non-traditional settings.”

“RAB aims to be supportive and adaptable to support the successful implementation of the Resilience Builder Program-Universal™ (RBP-U) and sustain the skills youth develop beyond participation in the program. Our licensed psychologists meet regularly with teachers to provide consultation as they implement the program. Additionally, graduate student “ambassadors” from the Catholic University of America communicate weekly with teachers to facilitate the distribution of surveys, which teachers complete to provide feedback on the intervention.

Upon assessing feedback regarding the acceptability and feasibility of the RBP-U, we plan to make modifications to the program so that teachers can confidently foster the development of resilience skills in their classrooms.” “Funding of the RBP-U through Qlarant [Foundation] has the potential to produce sustainable improvements in mental health care in Washington, DC and Maryland’s most vulnerable youth,” added Lobasso.

“We are excited to provide funding to improve the mental health of this community,” said Qlarant Foundation Board Chair Amanda Neal. “This is a great opportunity to expand the impact of our funds.”

about the author

Lisa Blanchfield

Lisa Blanchfield is the Program Coordinator for Qlarant Foundation. Lisa is also an Administrative Assistant at Qlarant and has been with the company for over 30 years. See all posts from Lisa Blanchfield.

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