Los Angeles, CA –  In a bold move to address the comorbid mental health issues that have long plagued youth, the Special Needs Network (SNN), a pioneering non-profit organization dedicated to serving children with developmental disabilities and their families, is thrilled to announce that it has successfully secured over $1 million in grant funding this month to expand its services. This significant financial boost will empower SNN to continue and expand its vital services, particularly in the realms of early intervention, mental health support for youth, and the Think Autism program.

A substantial portion of this funding, $250,000, has been graciously provided by Toyota, earmarked specifically for SNN’s state-of-the-art Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and the innovative Think Autism program. This program aims to address the disparities in autism identification and services, particularly among African American and LatinX students.

Furthermore, SNN has received a $750,000 grant from the California Department of Health Services (DHCS) as part of the California Youth Behavioral Health (CYBH) initiative, dedicated to supporting mental health initiatives for youth. This significant contribution will be instrumental in the launch and execution of the SNN Blues Program, designed to offer early intervention for high school-aged youth experiencing depressive symptoms. Through group sessions and at-home assignments, participants will be equipped with cognitive behavioral skills to navigate life stressors effectively, thereby reducing anxiety and depression.

An additional $25,000 has been secured from the Green Foundation. This funding will bolster SNN’s efforts to deliver culturally competent, anti-racist behavioral health services right in the communities that need them most.

Areva Martin, Esq., Founder and President of the Special Needs Network, expressed her gratitude and vision for the future: “We are profoundly grateful for the generous support from our donors, which enables us to take significant strides in addressing the mental health crisis among our youth. Our focus remains steadfast on delivering cutting-edge services from a foundation of cultural competence. The launch of our C.O.R.E. workforce development program is just one example of how we are combatting the shortage of BIPOC providers in this space. With over a decade of clinical experience and almost two decades of building trust within BIPOC communities, we are uniquely positioned to make a lasting impact. These grants not only validate our past efforts but also fuel our mission to transform lives and communities.”

The Special Needs Network is set to leverage this funding to further its mission, particularly during Autism Awareness Month in April, by highlighting the urgent need for early intervention and increased awareness of mental health issues within BIPOC communities.

For more information, contact