The Harvest Foundation is collaborating with 17 other philanthropic foundations throughout Virginia to fund expanded REACH behavioral health trainings for primary care providers treating children, adolescents and young adults across the Commonwealth. These foundations contributed more than $170,000 in an effort to address the growing need for improved access to mental health care.
“We provided an investment of $10,000 to support this training so our mental health practitioners in Martinsville-Henry County will have additional tools available to serve our community,” said Kate Keller, president of The Harvest Foundation. “The need for behavioral health services has increased steadily, largely due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re committed to supporting proven programs that strengthen our local services for behavioral health.”
The primary goal of the Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP) is to ensure better mental health for children. Through education initiatives, training, and access to specialists, primary care providers are better equipped to screen, diagnose, manage, and treat mental health, ensuring better quality of life for children and their families. VMAP will coordinate two REACH trainings serving up to 80 primary care providers.
These intensive three-day, 16-hour interactive courses for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants build skills and confidence in diagnosing and treating pediatric behavioral health problems. Following course completion, they participate in bi-monthly calls with national primary care and child/adolescent psychiatry experts to address cases in their daily practices.
The Medical Society of Virginia Foundation (MSVF) administers the VMAP program through a contract with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Melina Davis, CEO of MSV & Executive Director of MSVF, said, “To have the philanthropic community come together in support of this work has been incredible. We’re hopeful that the impact of these trainings will benefit all of Virginia by improving education and resources for youth mental health.”
According to Fairfax pediatrician and VMAP Founder, Dr. Sandy Chung, “Our foundation partners responded quickly in a meaningful way to help us address pediatric behavioral health needs – needs that are growing exponentially, outpacing the availability of mental health providers. The pandemic worsened a youth mental health crisis that was already present. We now have more young people than ever before suffering from anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm. With VMAP, primary care providers can be prepared with the best information to help children and their families right away.”
Participating foundations include:
The Alleghany Foundation
The Annabella Jenkins Foundation
Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation
Claude Moore Charitable Foundation
Community Foundation for Greater Richmond
Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Culpeper Wellness Foundation
Danville Regional Foundation
The Harvest Foundation
Northern Piedmont Community Foundation
Northern Virginia Health Foundation
Potomac Health Foundation
Richmond Memorial Health Foundation
Virginia Health Care Foundation
Wellspring Foundation of Southwest Virginia
Williamsburg Health Foundation
Visit www.vmap.org for more information about The Virginia Mental Health Assistance Program and REACH.