$1.99 million to address mental health as a result of COVID-19
Tampa, Fla. (February 16, 2022) – Hillsborough County residents will soon get an infusion of mental health support thanks to a nearly $2 million investment from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.
Commissioners unanimously approved a 30-month contract that supports Tampa Bay Thrives in providing mental and behavioral health services to help residents impacted by the ongoing pandemic, which has created or exacerbated mental and behavioral health issues for millions of Americans. The funds come from Hillsborough County’s COVID-19 dollars as part of the American Rescue Plan Act – Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (ARP Funds.)
The $1.99 million in funding will be used to support a behavioral health program to help residents who are dealing with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorder, with a focus on improving early intervention, access, and awareness. The program will:
- expand a free and confidential 24-hour Let’s Talk line for behavioral health support and navigation
- provide short-term counseling that will serve as a bridge to longer-term care
- create a research and awareness campaign focusing on addressing stigma towards mental and behavioral health in Hillsborough County
- conduct an annual survey of county residents regarding mental health and substance abuse and the impact of COVID-19 to identify service gaps and create solution and
- deliver a community-wide marketing campaign focused on reducing the stigma of mental and behavioral health, providing resources, and increasing residents’ knowledge of existing resources
“The pandemic has caused significant pressures for Hillsborough County residents with 67% of individuals surveyed indicating that the impact of Covid-19 has negatively affected their mental health,” said Carrie Zeisse, president and CEO of Tampa Bay Thrives. “We thank the Board of County Commissioners for their support; their vote today shows that they see the importance of addressing our community’s mental health. We look forward to helping normalize mental health and making help more accessible to all.”
About Tampa Bay Thrives
Tampa Bay Thrives is a nonprofit and Mental Health America affiliate, first formed in 2019, with the mission to mobilize the community to strengthen behavioral health outcomes for depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder, with a focus on improving early intervention, access and awareness. To learn more, visit www.tampabaythrives.org.