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Press Release


Napa Valley Vintners Invests in Key Mental Health Initiatives in Napa Valley Community

St. Helena, CA--Addressing some of the most pressing issues of mental health and related stability and productivity implications for a community, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) today announced another phase of Auction Napa Valley funding with investments of nearly $1 million in local nonprofits that support the emotional health and well-being of the Napa County community.

The organizations receiving funding in this phase are Aldea Children & Family Services, Family Service of Napa Valley, Napa Emergency Women's Services (NEWS) and Wolfe Center. Collectively these nonprofits provide services that help at-risk youth and families with challenges of untreated mental illness, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and substance abuse, among other mental and emotional health factors that affect both the individuals suffering from these conditions and the community at large. The agencies serve more than five thousand people and their families in Napa County.

"As a parent who recently lost our son as a result of mental illness, I can truly and painfully say just how precious the resources are that are being offered today by the Napa Valley Vintners to these four most-worthy community organizations," noted Gary Lieberstein, Napa County District Attorney. "Through their own unique resources, each of these organizations offers help and hope to families and individuals in our community in attaining a better and more productive life."

All four organizations funded under this umbrella employ collaborative, inter-agency, multi-faceted approaches to most effectively use resources for integrated outreach and programs. Research shows that this sort of comprehensive coordination provides early detection of mental health challenges and the effective foundation for vulnerable children and families to find solutions to often overwhelming circumstances.

It is more critical than ever for the resources to train teachers, health professionals, and police officers with first-response techniques to have when presented with a mental health crisis. "A community is only as sound as the people in that community that are getting their needs, including their mental health needs, met and some of the national tragedies of this last year have brought this fact to the forefront," said Mark Bontrager, executive director of Aldea Children & Family Services. "We are grateful for funding provided by the NVV that helps us in ongoing frontline efforts to perceive and meet mental and emotional health needs."

Auction Napa Valley is the NVV's annual community fundraiser that for more than 30 years has utilized the worldwide reputation of Napa Valley wines and the scenic beauty of the wine region to raise funds to enhance the health and well-being of the Napa Valley community. To date, the NVV has invested more than $120 million from Auction Napa Valley proceeds in community nonprofits in Napa County. A listing of agencies, their services, clients, grants and related national news stories follows.

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners is the nonprofit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents nearly 500 Napa Valley wineries and is a leader in the worldwide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its extraordinary wines, visit

About the Recipient Agencies

Aldea Children and Family Services
Aldea Children & Family Services supports and empowers people with serious social, mental, and behavioral difficulties to become independent and productive through professional, compassionate mental health and child welfare services. With a staff of more than 150 employees, Aldea is one of the largest nonprofits in Napa County.

Children and adolescents with untreated mental illness are at a higher risk of unsafe behaviors, including alcohol or drug use, other self-destructive behaviors and suicide. Between 2002 and 2012 in Napa County there was a 20% increase in the number of child abuse/neglect referral allegations. Child abuse and neglect can lead to developmental delays, emotional and other psychological problems, along with other challenges.

Family Service of Napa Valley
Family Service of Napa County provides affordable and professional mental health services for people of all ages. FSNV is the lead agency for the collaborative Bridges program and provides mental health treatment services to eight agencies as part of a countywide, coordinated system of care for low-income, un- and under-insured Napa County residents.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders are common in the U.S. with about one in four adults diagnosable with one or more mental disorders in any given year. According to the Center for Disease Control, mental disorders are as disabling as cancer or heart disease in terms of lost productivity or premature death.

Napa Emergency Women's Services (NEWS)
NEWS provides a nurturing refuge for women and children suffering from domestic violence and/or sexual assault and strives to be a catalyst for change through prevention, intervention, and advocacy.

Napa County has one domestic violence report for every 254 residents, with the majority involving families with children. Not only do many of these children suffer trauma and stress-related syndromes, but domestic violence is often also associated with issues of food access, stable housing, mental health and substance abuse.

Wolfe Center
Wolfe Center provides prevention, treatment, learning support and youth development services designed to reduce the impact of alcohol and other drug abuse on Napa County youth, families, schools and communities. Prevention, intervention and treatment services are provided in schools, and more intensive treatment services are provided in an Afterschool Program at its main facility in Napa.

Substance abusing youth are 5 times more likely to attempt suicide, 4.5 times more likely to get into a serious fight, 1.5 times more likely to have a C+ average or lower, 5.5 times more likely to be arrested, 9.4 times more likely to drink and drive, 1.5 times more likely to get into an accident, injure or poison themselves, and almost twice as likely to have multiple sexual partners.

AgencyNapa County Residents ServedAuction Funding AmountRelated National News
Aldea Children & Family ServicesMore than 1,200, most are children$500,000Reframing the Gun Control Debate: Is Mental Health the Next Focus?
CNN Politics, September 20, 2013
Family Service of Napa ValleyMore than 600, including at least 100 children$195,000Untreated Mental Illness: An Imminent Danger
60 Minutes, September 29, 2013
Napa Emergency Women’s Services (NEWS)Approximately 1,300, including more than 300 children$100,000Protecting Children from Toxic Stress
The New York Times, November 3, 2013
Wolfe CenterNearly 1,500 teens received prevention services and another 275 teens received treatment services$182,000Prescription Drug Abuse Up U.S. Teens: Survey
U.S. News & World Report, April 23, 2013