Home Mental Health Month: Harrisonburg opens up local ARPA mental health grants
Health, Local

Mental Health Month: Harrisonburg opens up local ARPA mental health grants

group therapy
(© fizkes – stock.adobe.com)

The City of Harrisonburg is moving forward on using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to help address needs related to mental and behavioral health and substance abuse in the community.

The application period for Harrisonburg’s ARPA mental health fund opens to local organizations on May 22.

The $400,000 fund, approved by Harrisonburg City Council in December 2022 as a way of addressing needs brought to light during the COVID-19 pandemic, is designed to support organizations providing mental and behavioral health services, with an emphasis on services to low-income, underserved, uninsured and/or underinsured individuals and families.

The need to address issues related to mental and behavioral health and substance abuse arose during the City’s ARPA public engagement process, where community members had the opportunity to provide feedback on how federal ARPA funds should be allocated.

Improving community mental and physical health emerged from the process as a top public priority.

“As I spoke with people in our community about how the pandemic had impacted their families, one of the things I heard again and again is that social distancing, job losses and many of the other side effects of the pandemic seriously impacted mental health and substance use challenges for many,” Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed said. “This mental health fund recognizes that improving mental health and wellness of all in our community is crucial to ensuring a healthy and thriving Harrisonburg. I’m proud that our City Council and staff is moving forward on these efforts.”

Organizations interested in applying for funding should review the fund’s notice of funding opportunity for details on priorities, applicant eligibility criteria and eligible uses of funds.

Find more information, visit https://harrisonburgva.gov/mental-health-fund

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.