In a quest to find new and more meaningful ways to address mental health needs in our region, Baptist Health and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida have formed The Partnership: For Mental Health, an innovative project to create strategic grants to improve access and strengthen the system that provides mental and behavioral health care for all citizens of Northeast Florida.
The announcement of the $2.2 million donor-advised fund at The Community Foundation was held Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, during a breakfast for Baptist Health community partners at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in downtown Jacksonville.
By learning together about assets and gaps in how people are served, The Partnership: For Mental Health will activate responsive grant-making and support across the mental health system, including direct service, advocacy, awareness, and training.
“The challenge of providing a fully responsive mental health ecosystem in our community calls for new levels of ingenuity,” said Delores Barr Weaver, formerly chairman and CEO of the Jaguars Foundation. “This partnership is also a way to bring new awareness to issues, which will help eliminate the stigma around mental illness and signal that many entities care deeply about the well-being of citizens in Northeast Florida.”
This isn’t the first time Baptist Health and Delores Barr Weaver have joined forces to improve access for mental health services in our region. In 2012, Weaver and her husband, Wayne, the inaugural owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars, made a record $10 million gift to Baptist Health to create an endowment to support behavioral health programs for children and young adults. Since 2014, the Weaver Legacy Endowment has served more than 4,000 children and provided more than 9,000 psychiatric sessions. It also funds a year-round Youth Mental Health First Aid Training course that is free to the public.
“Mental health and well-being are fundamental to a healthy community, and by investing in this partnership model, we believe we will be able to have more impact in improving lives,” said Hugh Greene, President and CEO of Baptist Health, who spoke at the community partners breakfast, along with Nancy Broner, chair of Baptist Health’s Social Responsibility and Community Health Committee, and Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation, which has been connecting people who care with causes that matter since 1964.
For more information about The Partnership: For Mental Health, contact Melanie Patz, vice president of Community Investment and Impact at 904.202.4546, or click here to learn more and apply for funding.