Bank of America Commits $1.35 Million in Support of Mental Health Initiatives in Communities of Color
Bank of America today announced that it is providing $1.35 million in grants to support mental health initiatives for young people of color. Funding will be distributed to three national organizations, One Mind, RADical Hope and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to expand mental health resources for communities of color.
While rates of mental illness among young people of color are similar with those of the general population, vast disparities exist in terms of access to mental health services and quality of care.1 Mental illness affects 1 in 4 Black and Hispanic-Latino adults and is the second leading cause for school dropouts.2 Because 80% of chronic mental health issues start in childhood3 and suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S.4, increasing access to mental health services and culturally competent resources for young people of color is critical to saving lives.
“In particular, young people of color have disproportionately been affected by stressors related to the economic and health-related impacts of the past year,” said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “By partnering with strategic national nonprofits making headway in four key areas — research, awareness, education, and action — we can help address issues from social isolation to grief, and financial stress to discrimination-related trauma.”
Bank of America accelerated the company’s long standing work in advancing racial equality and economic opportunity last year with a $1.25 billion, five-year commitment, which includes significant investments to address health disparities in communities of color, as well as supporting nonprofit community partners and lending assistance for small and minority-owned businesses. To date, the company has distributed more than 25 million masks to underserved communities across the U.S. as well as more than 160,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 4 million gloves. In partnership with CVS Health, the company also distributed over 9,000 no-cost flu vaccine vouchers to under-resourced communities.
Bank of America is also committed to supporting its employees’ and their families’ wellbeing by offering a range of innovative, industry-leading and flexible programs and benefits. Examples include unlimited, confidential, free 24/7 phone access to specialists for counseling during difficult moments for teammates and eligible household members, plus six free face-to-face counseling sessions per issue; no-cost consultations and counseling with Teladoc’s® behavioral health specialists for those on a bank medical plan; and no-cost mindfulness apps and ongoing mindfulness training for teammates.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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Vanessa Cook, Bank of America
1 Science Daily, Black, Hispanic children, youth rarely get help for mental health problems
2 D. Eisenberg and S. Lipson, "The Economic Case for Mental Health Services in Higher Education"
3 2016 Child Mind Institute, Children’s Mental Health Report
4 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health By the Numbers