Hillsborough County families received much-needed access to mental health care through a grant to Seniors in Service from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County.
The $50,000 grant to Seniors in Service was part of the Hillsborough County’s Rapid Response Recovery (R3) Nonprofit Safety Net program. Hillsborough County partnered with the Community Foundation to provide financial assistance to nonprofit agencies affected by COVID-19 through the R3 Nonprofit Safety Net.
More than a dozen mental health providers with various specialties – licensed clinical social workers, licensed mental health counselors, licensed psychologist, Advanced Nurse Practitioners with specialties in psychiatry – assisted south Hillsborough County residents through the grant. The providers included mental health professionals with certifications and advanced training in the areas of mood disorders, trauma, developmental delays and addictions.
With the grant, mental health professionals waived fees for individuals and families who received mental health services, testing and education. In many cases, families were able to bypass waiting periods, and it eliminated financial means as a barrier to receive care.
“The winter holidays, COVID fears and stressors associated with the pandemic accelerated underlying mental health concerns,” said Damon C. Glisson, Chair of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay’s South Shore Council. “This grant alleviated the feelings of frustration and hopelessness for many families in south Hillsborough County.”
In total, the grant covered 159 therapy sessions, 12 psychological evaluations for school-aged children who exhibited learning, developmental or behavioral concerns, 2 comprehensive cognitive evaluations for seniors to identify cognitive impairment or memory-related concerns, and 10 psychiatric sessions to evaluate or manage psychotropic medications. The services were provided in December 2020 and January 2021.
In addition, Seniors in Service partnered with South Shore Coalition for Mental Health and Aging and C.A.T.E. Foundation (which stands for Conquering Addiction Through Education) to provide services with the grant funding. These partnerships provided education, individual and group therapy, support and resources for individuals and families affected by drug, alcohol or behavioral addictions.
“This grant is just one way that we’ve expanded access to mental health resources for our community,” said Marlene Spalten, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. “We’re continuing to explore ways to increase access to these resources.”
The grant builds on the Community Foundation’s efforts to address mental health in the Tampa Bay community. It partnered with St. Petersburg College, Humana Foundation and Love IV Lawrence, a Community Foundation-hosted fund that supports organizations making positive changes around mental health, to launch the “Mental Health First Aid” nationally certified training course last year.
Anyone can register for the fully virtual 8-hour Mental Health First Aid course for only $125. The Community Foundation is covering the registration fee for people who work at nonprofit organizations, education institutions, faith communities and public service organizations.
Learn more about Mental Health First Aid on the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay’s website: https://cftampabay.org/mentalhealth/.
About the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
Founded in 1990, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay connects donors, nonprofits, community and business leaders, professional advisors, volunteers and residents to make the maximum positive impact in the Tampa Bay region. For 30 years, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has been dedicated to making giving easy and meaningful for donors as a way to strengthen nonprofit organizations and build a better, more vibrant community. Since its inception, its donors have enabled the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to award nearly $250 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the country. Learn more at CFTampaBay.org.