BUDA, TEXAS – The Buda Public Library was recently awarded $75,000 in grant funding to support mental health and wellness needs in the community. The funding will be dispersed over fiscal years 2022, 2023 and 2024.
The St. David’s Foundation allocated the grant through the Libraries for Health initiative, a program that integrates mental health into the work of libraries to meet the mental health needs in Central Texas.
“This grant will help the library be better prepared to assist with our community’s mental health needs,” said Buda Public Library Director Melinda Hodges, “[…] whether that be through books, classes, referrals, or just a friendly ear,” she added.
As one of the 15 libraries selected to participate in the Libraries for Health program, the Buda Public Library will receive evidence-based training and partner with an on-site lay mental health worker who will receive ongoing coaching from a licensed mental health professional to provide non-clinical mental health care, informal screenings, nonmedical counseling, and instructions on when and how to refer residents for more intensive care.
The lay mental health worker may also work with library staff to help set up office hours to meet with patrons individually, attend existing library programs to promote mental wellness, or offer mental wellness training to library staff and patrons.
In addition, the library will participate in a collaborative learning cohort and work with other member libraries of the program to improve access to mental health resources and provide support to residents that need assistance with the help of RAND Corporation, a nonprofit that utilizes tools to develop objective policy solutions and a partner of St. David’s Foundation.
The Buda Public Library will work to create a project plan tailored to the community and facility with the help of mental health professionals and other members of libraries to make the best use of the grant funding in the community. The goal of the program will be to expand the library's capacity to community members' mental health needs and increase the community's access to mental health support and care.
Libraries for Health program overview: https://stdavidsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Libraries-for-Health-Overview-English.pdf
Frequently asked questions: https://stdavidsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Libraries-for-Health-Fact-Sheet-English.pdf
The City of Buda is home to about 18,000 residents and has earned designations as a “Texas Main Street City,” “Tree City USA,” “Bee City Affiliate” and “Platinum-Level Scenic City.” Buda is situated along the Interstate 35 corridor, has 14 parks and a historic downtown district where residents and visitors alike can shop, dine, relax, and breathe easy here.
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