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Archived News Release from 2006

For Immediate Release

The California Endowment Supports Redwood City 2020’s Innovative Integrated Mental Health and Family Support Services Initiative

Redwood City, CA - October 19 , 2006 - Local collaborative Redwood City 2020 has been awarded a three-year, $394,565 grant from The California Endowment for its Integrated Health Services Initiative.This Initiative coordinates mental and physical health, family support, and non-academic support in order to improve youths’ well-being and academics.

The California Endowment 's investment catapults our efforts to sustain these vital services in our community,” states Redwood City 2020 Executive Director, Tajel Shah.

Redwood City 2020 has been at the forefront of providing mental health and family support services to students and families in the City of Redwood City and neighboring unincorporated areas that are served by the Redwood City Elementary School District.

Recognizing the importance of social and emotional health, Redwood City 2020 has five school-based centers located at Sequoia High School, Kennedy Middle School, Hoover K – 8, Fair Oaks Elementary School and Taft Elementary School. These five schools provide mental health, case management, parent involvement, family support, youth development and youth leadership, health care enrollment, education support and health education to thousands of youth and families each year. Recent evaluations have found that students receiving mental health services have significantly better standardized test scores then similar students not receiving the services. In addition, the students state taking positive steps to improve their own lives.

With funding provided by The California Endowment, other generous foundations and the City of Redwood City, County of San Mateo and Redwood City School District, Redwood City 2020 is able to hire and manage highly qualified culturally competent staff at each site to orchestrate non-academic support services in order to support youths overall social, emotional, physical and academic wellbeing. Coordinating these services with the school is essential to helping schools address social and emotional health.

Also, making service available at schools and hiring bilingual staff, Redwood City 2020 is eliminating transportation and language barriers. Services are available to all students and families in the schools and surrounding community members.

The stigma associated with accessing mental health services often prevents families and youth from accessing this kind of care," states Cecilia Echeverría, Program Officer for The California Endowment. "However, when you integrate mental health services into a health care or social services setting, stigma is reduced and access is expanded. The Endowment is pleased to support Redwood City 2020’s efforts to improve the health and mental health of the communities it serves.”

Redwood City 2020 is a remarkable community partnership, designed to support the success of all youth and families and to engage and strengthen the community. This collaboration is comprised of the City of Redwood City, the Redwood City Elementary School District, the Sequoia Union High School District, San Mateo County, Stanford University / John W. Gardner Center, Wells Fargo Bank, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and Kaiser Permanente.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Take a look at the variety of City webcams at, and subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter by emailing



Tajel Shah, Executive Director
Redwood City 2020


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