MAAC Foundation receives $11,000 grant from Porter County Community Foundation for mental health and wellness


MAAC Foundation receives $11,000 grant from Porter County Community Foundation for mental health and wellness

The MAAC Foundation in Valparaiso, Indiana, has received an $11,000 grant from the Porter County Community Foundation to address mental health for first responders in Northwest Indiana. This funding will support the Multi Agency Academic Cooperative Foundation’s First Responders Mental Health Initiative, a program led by a committee of first responders, doctors, chaplains, and health care officials. The goal of the initiative is to provide more mental health resources to the 30-acre campus that offers realistic training scenarios for paramedics, firefighters, police officers, and police dogs.

One way the grant will be used is to bring in Travis Howze, a military and first responder health and wellness advocate, to speak at the facility. Howze, a U.S. Marine veteran with experience as a police officer and firefighter, will present a program on mental health and resiliency. MAAC Foundation President and CEO Celina Weatherwax expressed gratitude for the support from the Porter County Community Foundation, emphasizing that the grant will help expand mental health training and resources for first responders.

The First Responder Mental Health Initiative established by MAAC aims to address issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, conditions that first responders are disproportionately affected by compared to the general public. These professionals often face high-stress environments, traumatic incidents, and long hours, which can take a toll on their mental health. Porter County Community Foundation President and CEO Bill Higbie highlighted the importance of recognizing and supporting the mental and emotional challenges that come with first responder roles.

To learn more about the MAAC Foundation and its First Responder Mental Health Initiative, individuals can visit www.maacfoundation.org.

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