Women’s Fund of Central Indiana is committing over $1 million to mental health services and programming for women and girls. A portion of the money, nearly $300,000, will support the launch of a Give an Hour office in Indianapolis that will offer one-on-one mental health counseling for marginalized women and girls. An additional $750,000 will be awarded to a 501(c)3 organization that can work with Women’s Fund to disrupt the status quo of mental health in Central Indiana with a bold, innovative approach.
“In order to maintain a thriving community, we need to address mental health issues by providing more access to care.”
Give an Hour Indianapolis
Give an Hour is a national organization that utilizes volunteer professionals to provide free mental health services. The Marion County Public Health Department provided Women’s Fund a $300,000 grant, awarded over three years, to open a local office that focuses specifically on women and girls. A committee, including representatives from both Women’s Fund and the health department, among others, will work over the summer to determine details for service referrals and locations for services.
“In order to maintain a thriving community, we need to address mental health issues by providing more access to care,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director of the Marion County Public Health Department, a division of Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County. “Give an Hour is one more very important way for us to reach out and help someone get on the path to a better life.”
Women’s Fund first partnered with Give an Hour in 2017 when it brought the organization’s national initiative, Campaign to Change Direction, to nine cities, 46 college campuses, several hospitals, not-for-profit organizations and public health departments in Central Indiana. The campaign normalizes conversations about mental health and encourages people to recognize and respond to the five signs of emotional suffering: personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care and hopelessness. The Marion County Public Health Department is also a campaign partner.
“Women’s Fund has an opportunity to impact lives in a very personal way,” said Tavonna Askew, Women’s Fund advisory board member and chief of staff and general counsel for The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County. “This program offers hope and healing while dealing with the barriers that can go along with seeking help.”
A Bold, Innovative Mental Health Grant
In addition to bringing Give an Hour to Indianapolis, Women’s Fund is accepting concept proposals now through Aug. 15 for a $750,000 grant for a ground-breaking program or initiative that provides a more effective and sustainable way to reach and support girls with mental health issues. The Fund recognizes the need for re-envisioned conversations, programming and access to mental health services and hopes to partner with an organization willing to think big to make a change in how mental health is addressed.
“…strong women strengthen and benefit our entire community.”
Evidence demonstrates that Indiana high-school-aged girls are particularly vulnerable to depression and other related mental health issues, as demonstrated by the “2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.”
- 39.2% of girls felt sad or hopeless (versus 19.8% of boys)
- 20.6% of girls were electronically bullied (versus 11.0% of boys)
- 13.4% of girls were physically forced to have sexual intercourse (versus 6.4% of boys)
- 26.0 of girls seriously considered attempting suicide (versus 13.7% of boys), and 10.9% of girls attempted suicide (versus 8.7% of boys)
The $750,000 grant is made possible by funds raised from ticket sales of “A Moderated Conversation With Former First Lady Michelle Obama,” an event hosted by Women’s Fund in February that raised $1 million for the community. The remaining $250,000 will support a program of the NEXT Initiative. Details to be announced later this month.
Women’s Fund on Mental Health
“Women’s Fund has made it a priority to promote conversations about mental health in our community,” said Jennifer Pope Baker, executive director of Women’s Fund. “By supporting the mental health of women and girls through the launch of the local Give an Hour office and this innovative mental health grant, we can help more women and girls become healthier and more confident. We know that strong women strengthen and benefit our entire community.”
For more information about Give an Hour Indianapolis or the grant process, visit womensfund.org.