Beach Cities Receives $1 Million for New Youth Mental Health Center

Beach Cities Receives $1 Million for New Youth Mental Health Center
Students walk on the campus at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 11, 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

REDONDO BEACH, Calif.—The Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) received one million for the allcove Beach Cities center—a new community project promoting youth wellness—as part of the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package signed by President Joe Biden last month, BCHD officials announced.

This new facility—one of five allcove locations in California—will not only serve young residents of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach but also the neighboring cities including Torrance, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Lomita, Gardena, and San Pedro.

“Our youth wellness center will serve a high need we’ve identified in our community for mental health resources focused on young people. allcove Beach Cities will serve and support youth and young adults in a way that has not been available before," Tom Bakaly, CEO of Beach Cities Health District, said in the health district’s statement on the program.

The allcove Beach Cities center is scheduled to open later this year at the current BCHD campus on Prospect Avenue in Redondo Beach, offering mental and physical health resources, employment, peer and family support, and substance use prevention programs for people ages 12–25, according to the statement.

This youth wellness center is one of the ten community projects supported by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who secured the $1-million-dollar funding as part of the 2022 fiscal year federal spending.

“Millions of dollars will go directly to projects in Los Angeles County, and I am proud to have worked alongside so many local leaders, like Tom Bakaly at BCHD, to help ensure our community has the resources it needs for a healthier, safer, and more resilient future,” Lieu said in the statement.

According to the latest data from California Healthy Kids Survey, about 45 percent of Beach Cities’ 11th graders reported chronic sad or hopeless feelings and 16 percent of 9th graders reported seriously considering attempting suicide in the past 12 months.

To support the young adults and students locally, the health district is partnered with allcove—a youth mental health program created by Sandford University’s Department of Physiatry and Behavioral Sciences—in the operation of integrated youth mental health center. allcove provides mental health services at either no cost or low cost.

To localize the center and better serve the young populations in the South Bay, a youth coalition made up of 200 community members, is assisting with facility planning. The center also sought community members between 16 and 25 years old to form a youth advisory group to ensure young people's needs are met.

The allcove Beach Cities youth wellness center will be a permanent feature of BCHD’s Healthy Living Campus project, which has construction set to start in 2023.