A note from our CEO - June 2023
Thursday, June 1, 2023

Here at Beach Cities Health District, it has been a busy Spring!

May was Mental Health Awareness Month, and for 2023, we have been bringing attention to mental health and mental illness with the help of a $149,943 “Take Action for Mental Health Los Angeles County Mental Health Awareness Month Community Grant” from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA).

This grant has provided funding for our “Mental Health is Health” campaign (maybe you’ve seen people sporting sweatshirts with that logo?) which includes many events and activities, including Mental Health First Aid trainings, events at schools and more.

This week, we hosted a “Mental Health in the Workplace” seminar at AdventurePlex with Dr. Michele Nealon, President of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, who shared her expertise on mental health and challenges like stress, anxiety, depression and burnout, and their impact on the workplace.

More information about Mental Health Awareness Month is available at bchd.org/mentalhealthawareness.

We have more news on the mental health front, as BCHD has been awarded $6.3 million in grant funding from the California Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program (BHCIP). This grant is for new construction of allcove Beach Cities, the center we opened last November that’s focused on young people and their mental health.

Since allcove Beach Cities opened last fall in a temporary location, more than 1,300 young people have utilized the center, which offers mental and physical health services, education and employment assistance, peer and family support, and substance use prevention programs for young people ages 12-25 in the greater South Bay.

This grant will help fund a new, permanent location for allcove Beach Cities, at the SW corner of Beryl Street and Flagler Lane, enabling allcove to provide even more services for the community’s young people. The two-story, 9,400-square-foot allcove center will be the first building constructed as part of BCHD’s Healthy Living Campus master plan.

While we’re talking about grants, a $1.83 million grant from L.A. County Metro has us preparing to begin work on the Redondo Beach phase of a bike path project adjacent to our Prospect Avenue Campus. The project is outlined in South Bay Bicycle Master Plan that was adopted by seven cities in 2012.

This narrow alleyway from connecting Diamond Street and Flagler Lane has long been used as a cut-through for pedestrians and cyclists, including many local students who commute to and from school via this route. But the path is in desperate need of revitalization.

The 450-foot Redondo Beach portion of the Diamond Street & Flagler Lane Bike and Pedestrian Path Project will add a bike path, pedestrian infrastructure and improved lighting and safety enhancements to improve accessibility and promote active transportation. The project also includes:

- A retaining wall
- Regrading of a hillside
- Pedestrian lighting
- New pavement
- Bicycle video detection sensors at the traffic signal
- New landscaping and trees in the Diamond Street median

Enhancing the built environment with infrastructure that promotes walkability and bikeability are concepts championed by BCHD through the Blue Zones Project® and its “Living Streets” philosophy, which incorporates people-friendly street designs to provide benefits including increased safety plus health, economic and environmental benefits.

In health,

Tom Bakaly
Chief Executive Officer
Beach Cities Health District