The Rhode Island Foundation has announced grants totaling $3.7 million to more than three dozen organizations working to address behavioral health challenges related to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
The grants were the first to be awarded through the foundation's COVID-19 Behavioral Health Fund, which was created in partnership with the state's Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner and with funding from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Tufts Health Plan, and UnitedHealthCare. Recipients include Samaritans of Rhode Island, which will use its grant to provide and/or continue COVID-related support services, suicide prevention services, and volunteer services in the state; and Bradley Hospital, which will use the funds to expand its Kids' Link RI behavioral health triage and referral network, provide statewide suicide prevention training to school personnel, and install tablet-based telemedicine work stations at the hospital and in the emergency department at Hasbro Children's Hospital.
The foundation expects to announce a second round of grants from the fund later this summer.
"The health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have created significant behavioral health challenges for too many in our community," said Rhode Island Foundation president and CEO Neil D. Steinberg. "We hope that these grants can help provide support to address the increases in depression, isolation, suicide, and substance abuse that we are seeing during these critical times."
For a complete list of grant recipients, see the Rhode Island Foundation website.
(Photo credit: Newport Mental Health)