We are pleased to share this guest blog post from our partners at Optum:
Contra Costa Crisis Center Works to Raise Awareness of Services Through New Partnership with Optuma reflective pond shows sunset. this image is near Vasco Caves Regional Preserve in Co Co County

A mom struggled with her son’s recent autism diagnosis and their life was becoming unbearable. No program would accept her son. After many attempts to find help she found the Contra Costa Crisis Center, a non-profit organization that provides phone support, grief counseling. and connection to services in Contra Costa County. The Crisis Center provided support, resources, and ultimately found a program for her son.

This mom’s case is only one example of the valuable services the Contra Costa Crisis Center provides to the community. The center’s services keep people alive and safe, help them through crises, and provide or connect them with culturally relevant resources in the community. For example, the 211-crisis hot line is available 24/7 and puts people in touch with counselors who can help with crisis counseling and other resources during times of emotional or psychological distress.

John Muir Health’s Community Health Improvement department and the John Muir Community Health Fund (JMCHF), have been partners with Contra Costa Crisis Center for over 12 years.  There is a referral relationship between John Muir Health’s Behavioral Health Center and John Muir Health services are included in CCCC’s 211 directory. The Crisis Center was able to expand its four-decade grief support program by adding a Spanish-speaking version – the first of its kind in Contra Costa County – with a grant from JMCHF.

In August, Optum, a leading health services company and part of UnitedHealth Group, offered $1 million in pro bono support over the next three years to address local health and wellness needs in partnership with John Muir Health. Optum team members are donating time and expertise in serving 17 community-based organizations, including the Contra Costa Crisis Center, selected by a joint Optum/John Muir Health committee.

Optum’s work with the Crisis Center is helping to raise visibility of their lifesaving programs and services in the community. I’m part of a team that is creating an integrated marketing and communications plan that will promote community and individual awareness of the organization. This includes redesigning CCCC’s social media channels and constructing templates, both web and print, to advertise the organization’s services.

In addition to the marketing plan, Optum is also helping the center with the implementation of a corporate giving strategy to increase their donor base. Our Optum team is set to complete the project in November 2020 with the goal to enhance the Crisis Cemter’s services to the broader Contra Costa County community. We are all honored to support the Crisis Center in their mission and the critical services they provide to the community.

According to center’s Executive Director, Tom Tamura, “The current and long-term consequences due to the Covid19 pandemic will be experienced by all of us and will especially impact those who are and have been considered the most vulnerable in our community.” During the pandemic, the Contra Costa Crisis Center has assisted in the creation of a GPS mapping tool to help people manage the ever-changing food resource landscape (including being an intake for the Great Plates Program), procured and distributed donated PPE to multiple organizations, worked closely with Public Health and the Office of Emergency Services to manage calls about the virus, and have counseled thousands during these difficult times. Said Tom, “We are grateful for the support we are receiving from Optum and John Muir Health to assist us in our efforts to serve our community. With help comes hope.”

Heather Gardiner, Optum pro bono team