University Settlement receives New York City Council awards to bolster mental health offerings

University Settlement received nearly $850,000 through the New York City Council’s discretionary awards process for the 2022 Fiscal Year, including significant expanded support for integrated mental health offerings within its Early Childhood Education and Older Adults programs, the social justice agency announced today.

The additional awards include $300,000 for University Settlement’s Butterflies program, which provides mental health services to children under five. Butterflies will use the funds to support enhanced staffing in Early Childhood Centers, and also to begin providing expanded mental health supports to pregnant people who have experienced trauma.

University Settlement’s mental health programs for adults over 60 were also granted $80,000 from New York City’s Geriatric Mental Health Initiative, the first time the agency has received such funding; it will support strengthening existing offerings while enhancing educational activities, support groups, and individual services, at a time when many older New Yorkers are experiencing significant mental health challenges.

“We are grateful to our advocates on the City Council, not only for these significant investments in our effective programs, which are a testament to the city’s confidence in our approach, but also for their perennial engagement with our neighbors’ priorities,” said Melissa Aase, Chief Executive Officer of University Settlement. “Access to mental healthcare is a fundamental driver of community strength, and that’s why University Settlement weaves it into everything we do. Although this sort of integration is fundamental to our approach, we often face significant challenges to identify financial support for it,  and we salute the vision the Council has displayed with these awards.”

“We appreciate the Council’s recognition that human services organizations are essential infrastructure, and we’re grateful that these additional grants have been made,” said Michelle Paige, Chief Program and Equity Officer of University Settlement. “We receive these awards as welcome acknowledgment of the trusted partnerships our teams have forged with our colleagues across New York City’s vital safety net, and we look forward to ensuring that mental health services reach New Yorkers who often have the hardest time finding them. ”

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