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Funding for Charlottesville nonprofit fills gap in mental health services

mental health
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A Virginia Health Care Foundation grant will fund a pre-licensed behavioral health clinician at ReadyKids, a Charlottesville-based nonprofit that has experienced an increase in demand for behavioral health services for children, resulting in a waitlist for much needed services.

RK’s Youth Counseling program provides treatment to children and their caregivers who have been victims of crime and/or trauma or who are experiencing family crisis.

The VHCF grant will help RK reduce the wait time for children and families needing care.

“There’s a shortage of behavioral health professionals throughout the Commonwealth,” says Deborah Oswalt, VHCF’s executive director. “In fact, 66 percent of the state has been designated a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area. This impacts the quality of life of adults and children alike.”

VHCF has invested heavily to increase the availability of mental health services in the Commonwealth. During the past 11 years, the Foundation has invested nearly $10 million to fund the addition of behavioral health professionals in Virginia’s healthcare safety net and local human service organizations; develop more tele-mental health services; provide scholarships for aspiring Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners; and integrate the delivery of mental health services with primary care.

The Foundation also has introduced and supported the implementation of a trauma-informed approach to providing care within the healthcare safety net.

“Behavioral health is a top priority for us as we embark on our 30th year of work,” said Deborah Oswalt, VHCF’s Executive Director. “We are delighted to invest in organizations like ReadyKids to ensure Virginians have access to the health care they need.”

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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