Rhode Island Foundation awards $2.6M from new Behavioral Health Fund

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Foundation is providing $2.6 million in grants for six organizations to improve behavioral health care in the state, the foundation announced Monday.

The grants, which will be paid over three years, are the first of round of donations from the Behavioral Health Fund, which was formed in August 2018, beginning with a $5 million donation from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

“The organizations and projects we are funding today are truly impressive,” said Kim A. Keck, president and CEO of Blue Cross, in a news release. “With innovative approaches and use of emerging best practices, we are confident they can achieve long-term, sustainable outcomes. I look forward to seeing great progress in the next few years and thank all of the organizations for helping us to realize our vision to passionately lead a state of health and well-being across Rhode Island.”

The fund is designed to support primary and secondary prevention models and affordable behavioral health care services. The foundation said it received 62 requests for funding, which were reviewed by an advisory committee, including industry professionals, policy makers and health insurance sector representatives.

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“Helping Rhode Islanders lead healthier lives is one of our priorities. These grants will address behavioral health needs before people are in crisis. This work will lead to better outcomes across the board while targeting communities that are disproportionately impacted by behavioral health issues,” stated Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the foundation.

The first recipients of the Behavioral Health Fund grants are:

  • Rhode Island College: $599,641 to develop and deliver evidence-based screening and treatment services for vulnerable and underserved populations in Rhode Island using an integrated medical and behavioral health model of delivery.
  • Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health: $599,113 to provide specialized training for professional who serve infants, young children and their families.
  • Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island and PCMH Kids: $450,000 to test implementing a comprehensive Integrated Behavioral Health service delivery program to increase the identification and treatment of behavioral health conditions before people are in crisis.
  • Coventry Public School District: $440,356 to train educators, support staff, health workers, first responders and others who work with youths to identify early mental health needs.
  • Clinica Esperanza: $300,000 to support its Vida Pura program, providing care to low-income, uninsured Hispanic immigrants with unmet behavioral needs.
  • Center for Evidence Based Practice at Bradley Hospital: $291,072 to partner with the Village for Rhode Island Foster and Adoptive Families and the Institute on Stress, Trauma and Resilience at Brown University to provide intensive, evidence-based child-behavior management training and parenting support to foster families.