The donation supports youth mental health in California in honor of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month celebrated in July.
Blue Shield of California recently announced it's providing more than $1.1 million to four organizations working to support youth mental health in California in honor of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month celebrated in July. Mental illness is the number one reason children in the state are hospitalized, and half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by the age of 14.
According to a release from Blue Shield of California, the support is part of Blue Shield of California's BlueSky Initiative, which has provided resources and support for youth, families, educators, and caregivers to promote emotional well-being for youth since 2019. With today's announcement, BlueSky has now provided $10 million total to support youth mental health programs throughout the state.
"Our goal is to support youth by helping them develop resilience and emotional well-being to cope with life's challenges in a healthy way," said Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California, in the release. "That is why we created BlueSky – to support, invest in, and work with organizations to bring the needed support for our young people throughout California."
Below are the four organizations receiving support from BlueSky.
"The pandemic not only shed light on, but exacerbated, a critical epidemic – the alarming decline of mental health of young people, especially those in Black and brown communities," said DeNora Getachew, CEO of DoSomething.org, in the release. "Blue Shield's gracious support will help DoSomething equip its members with the tools and resources they need to destigmatize mental health issues and address this epidemic with action."
Over the last year, BlueSky and its programs almost doubled the number of educators it trained to spot warning signs of mental health concerns in youth, conducted more than 4,000 counseling sessions, and supported cultivating a pipeline of diverse youth to work in the mental health field.
"We share a common mission with BlueSky in serving boys and men of color to improve their well-being," said Kristene Smith, CEO of Brother Be Well, in the release. "With Blue Shield's support, Brother Be Well clinicians will be able to expand their reach and normalize conversations about mental health."