It is well documented that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on the behavioral, social and emotional health of our communities. In particular, young people, striving populations and communities living in poverty, have experienced higher rates of psychological stress coupled with lack of access to behavioral health resources.
We have also seen, during this pandemic, that our non-profit partners have been overwhelmed with requests for support and services far beyond their existing operating capacity. As a result of this increasing need, there is an opportunity for funders to increase their impact by leveraging our collective resources and expertise to support organizations in the Richmond regions serving our communities.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, RMHF has embarked on a learning journey with several peer funding partners and identified specific ways in which we can collaborate and leverage resources to increase community impact. We are pleased to share that Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation, Robins Foundation and Richmond Memorial Health Foundation have collaboratively awarded Behavioral Health General Operating Support Grants.
With the approval of the Trustees at the February 2021 Board meeting, RHMF—in partnership with our funding collaborators—launched an invitation-only process for the new collaborative Behavioral Health grants. These grantee organizations were specifically selected because of their commitment to address behavioral health needs through racial and ethnic equity lens. Needs in this area are significant and urgent due to the pandemic, so we prioritized organizations with a proven track record of successfully meeting community needs in partnership with the three collaborating funders.
Our foundations have approved five organizations as recipients of these two-year general operating support grants for fiscal years 2021 to 2023, totaling $700,000 ($70,000 per organization/year). Meet our collaboratively funded Behavioral Health grantees:
Robert Bolling, CEO of ChildSavers said, “We cannot overstate the exacerbated impact of trauma on children made more manifest by a pandemic, by race and by the social injustices that create more stressors. Now is the time to help! Proper mental health supports enable kids to process trauma and to build resilience as a cornerstone for strength and the ability to thrive. Our partnership with Robins, RMHF and Schaberg Foundation provides crucial, accessible and timely aid for our behavioral health work with children.”
We are proud to join together in supporting these five organizations during a time in which behavioral health services are critical to the ongoing recovery of our community’s children and families.