This is the second round of grants from the COVID-19 Behavioral Health Fund, which the foundation established in May in partnership with the state Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner using more than $5 million in funding from UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Rhode Island, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island and Tufts Health Plan.
In the first round, nearly $3.7 million was awarded to more than three dozen organizations. In this round, 31 organizations will receive grants. “The programs range from offering counseling to survivors of domestic violence to helping children cope with the pandemic via telehealth services,” according to a foundation media release.
“It is critical that we use this funding from our health insurers to meet some of the elevated pressures and challenges that this pandemic has placed upon on our behavioral health care providers and the individuals and families that need these vital health care services,” said state Health Commissioner Marie Ganim in announcing the grants.
“The health and economic effects of the pandemic are creating significant behavioral health challenges for too many in our community,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We hope this funding gives our nonprofit partners the resources to help address the increases in depression, isolation, suicide and substance abuse that we are seeing during these challenging times.”
Among the organizations benefiting from this round are Women’s Refugee Care, Child & Family in Middletown, Thrive Behavioral Health in Warwick, and Wood River Health Services in Hope Valley.
“COVID-19 brought tremendous hardship to the refugee community in Rhode Island; 90% worked in the hotel industry and they were laid off during the pandemic,” said Women’s Refugee Care Project Manager Clement Shabani. “This situation of desperation brings many to collapse in alcohol subsistence and need therapy.”
A complete list of all grant recipients is at https://bit.ly/38YDYGS.
This article is available at https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20200716/ri-foundation-announces-17m-in-grants-to-mental-health-providers