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Scholarships look to spread mental health awareness, provide more services
mental health

Circumstances surrounding mental health can often be difficult, whether it’s trying to obtain services that can help or sharing stories of struggles with others. In order to help in these areas, two nonprofits are offering separate scholarship opportunities to train the next generation of mental health care providers and help end the stigma. 

The EMC Health Foundation in Turlock recently launched a scholarship program designed to expand access to mental health services for residents of Stanislaus and Merced counties. Named after EMC Health Inc. President and CEO Linda Stuhmer, the Linda M. Stuhmer Behavioral Health Fellowship honors the local leader for her significant contributions to the communities across the Central Valley, as well as her work with Jessica’s House where she has helped to ensure grieving families and individuals have a place to call home. 

Stuhmer has always been known as someone committed to ensuring no one with a mental health challenge is ever left behind. The scholarship program will draw on the diversity and unique culture of the Valley, which will be best served by future leaders like Stuhmer who are committed to being part of the community.

“We have created the Linda M. Stuhmer Behavioral Health Fellowship program to begin building our mental health backbench,” said Jeffrey Lewis, President and CEO of EMCHF. “It is often difficult for people and families to access needed behavioral health services because of severe provider shortages. This fellowship program will allow us to educate local students who want to obtain their master’s degree and stay and work in our community. In creating this program, we are honoring a healthcare hero, Linda Stuhmer, recognizing the incredible contributions she has made to our community.”

The scholarship will see EMCHF assist local students who have been accepted into one of three two-year master’s programs (Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Social Work or Professional Clinical Counseling) with the cost of tuition and books, which today averages close to $50,000. 

Upon completing their studies, graduates will be required to return to work for three years at a nonprofit or for-profit entity, serving the greater EMCHF community’s behavior-health needs within the specific communities served by the foundation.

The goal is to rebuild the Central Valley’s behavioral-health infrastructure with individuals who grew up in the region and would be more inclined to live and work in the Central Valley, ensuring that all its residents can access quality mental health services provided by culturally appropriate trained professionals.

To obtain more information about the fellowship program or to submit an application, email

Additionally, students willing to either share their own story about mental health or express their interest in raising mental health awareness could earn a scholarship thanks to the Carlos Vieira Foundation in Livingston. 

CVF’s “Race to End the Stigma” campaign was created to not only change the way people perceive those who are living with mental illness, but also how those who are affected perceive themselves. The foundation is well-known throughout the community for its efforts to support the mental health community through education, fundraising and facilitating resources. 

Each year, CVF continues the conversation about mental health by offering a $2,000 scholarship to graduating high school seniors who submit a mental health-related essay. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic, extra-curricular activities and their essay on one of three topics about mental health, which can be found at

In recognition of receiving the scholarship, the Carlos Vieira Foundation will be sharing the winner’s scholarship essays on its website and social media platforms. Recipients will also have the opportunity to share their story on the KDD podcast.

To be eligible, a student must be a graduating senior in good academic standing with a minimum 3.5 GPA; seeking enrollment in a postsecondary program at a two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school; and be graduating from a high school in Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, or Yuba county.

For more information, call 209-394-1444 or email