Community Foundation’s Mental Health Partnership invests in local agencies

The Partnership: For Mental Health, an initiative of the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and Baptist Health, has invested $2.4 million during the past three years to improve access and strengthen the region’s mental and behavioral health care systems. It has awarded 60 grant ranging from $1,200 to $160,000 to 49 local agencies that focus on innovative ways to address mental health needs.

“Over the course of the three years, we gained new perspective on the gaps in mental health access and services across our community and were able to respond based on that deeper knowledge,” Amy Crane, senior program director for The Community Foundation who led the foundation’s efforts, said.

The Partnership was created by former Jaguars co-owner Delores Barr Weaver in 2018. Baptist health joined her to begin funding opportunities.

“The challenges in the field are widespread, and we learned that targeted investment in areas like direct service and stigma reduction could help move the needle in Northeast Florida,” Weaver said.

Approved grants went to providers such as Barnabas Center in Nassau County, Betty Griffin Center in Clay County and Jewish Family and Community Services and MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation in Duval County.

“What we could not have imagined was the depth of the trauma that many of our youth have been through—food insecurity, homelessness, violence, etc.,” said Terri Florio, the foundation’s executive director/CEO.

Melanie Patz, Baptist Health’s vice president of community investment and impact, said, “The grants funded during the three years the Fund was active have provided mental health services to vulnerable populations during a time when mental health has been challenged due to the pandemic.”

Many smaller, newer providers also received funding. For a full list of grantees that received funding from The Partnership: For Mental Health, visit

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