The first grants from the Behavioral Health Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation have been awarded to six nonprofit organizations to support primary and secondary prevention models and high-quality, affordable behavioral health care services across the state.
“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,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.
The Fund was created in August 2018 by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner with a commitment of $5 million in funding from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI). Current grants totaled $2.6 million over three years.
“The organizations and projects we are funding today are truly impressive,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BCBSRI. “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.”
“As Governor, expanding access to mental health treatment and support is one of my top priorities, and I’m excited to award the first round of Behavioral Health Fund grantees,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “As part of my administration’s effort to ensure that our state’s insurers are meeting Rhode Island’s mental and behavioral health care needs, last year OHIC conducted a market conduct exam that resulted in a financial settlement with Blue Cross Blue Shield Rhode Island. The Behavioral Health Fund was born out of that settlement.”