Greater Lowell Community Health Foundation Awards $208K in Coronavirus Response Grants to Address Mental Health Needs

Greater Lowell Community Health Foundation Awards $208K in Coronavirus Response Grants to Address Mental Health Needs

The article below appeared in the Lowell Sun on Oct. 25, 2021

LOWELL — The Greater Lowell Community Foundation issued a new round of coronavirus-related grants, providing $208,750 to 13 nonprofits across Greater Lowell that will be used to address mental health needs within the community.

The latest round of funding comes after a recent survey of Greater Lowell nonprofits revealed that 100% of the organizations have seen increased mental health challenges since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to a GLCF press release.

Jay Linnehan, GLCF president and CEO, said the foundation received more than $600,000 in grant requests for the latest cycle.

“We are grateful to our volunteer selection committee that used their collective expertise to review many worthy applications to make some hard decisions relating to grant funding,” Linnehan said.

The nonprofits receiving the grants and the total they received are:

  • Adolescent Consultation Services (Cambridge) for Direct Mental Health Services for Court-Involved Children and their Families in Lowell — $15,000
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell for Youth Services — $20,000
  • Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell for Supporting Mental Health Among Cambodian Americans — $20,000
  • The Center for Hope and Healing for Providing Culturally – Competent, Inclusive & Gender-Responsive Mental Health Services for BIPOC Youth — $20,000
  • Community Teamwork Inc. for CTI’s Center for Behavioral Health and Development — $20,000
  • Health Law Advocates for Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids in Lowell — $15,000
  • Lowell Community Health Center for Teen BLOCK Teen Talk Program: Building Resilience among Vulnerable Lowell Youth — $20,000
  • Lowell Council on Aging for Lowell Elder Mental Health Outreach Startup — $15,000
  • Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers for MAPS Short-Term COVID Mental Health Initiative — $15,000
  • Operation Delta Dog in Hollis, N.H. for PTSD Veteran/Mentor Program in Greater Lowell — $15,000
  • The Rise Above Foundation for Activities for Lowell Area Youth in Foster Care — $15,000
  • Wayside Youth & Family Support Network for Creating Capacity for Allyship — $15,000
  • Westford Council on Aging for Mindfulness for Better Health and Mental Health — $3,750

CMAA Interim Executive Director Vichtcha Kong expressed gratitude for the $20,000 received, noting it will be used to connect and provide clinical interventions to support mental health.

“Cambodian immigrants and Cambodian American residents of Greater Lowell already cope with intergenerational trauma, so the isolation, stress, and disproportionate impact of the pandemic have had a significant impact within our community,” Kong said.

CTI CEO Karen Frederick said the $20,000 grant for the newly dedicated Rita O’Brien Dee Center for Behavioral Health “could not have come at a better time.”

“This meets a critical need and addresses a significant public health issue — children’s mental and behavioral health,” Frederick said. “Now more than ever, it is essential that parents, staff, and partners in our community working directly with children have the capacity, skills, and support to foster children’s healing and posttraumatic growth. The Rita O’Brien Dee Center for Behavioral Health and Development will be a resource for CTI and providers across the community.”

The $208,750 in grant funding includes significant funding from the Klarman Family Foundation, which partnered with GLCF and other community foundations across Massachusetts to address community needs.

Since March 2019, through grants from the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and the Massachusetts COVID Relief Fund, the foundation has supported more than 130 local nonprofit organizations with grants totaling more than $4.8 million.

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