HOLYOKE — A $15,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, will help the Mental Health Assoc. (MHA) expand programming and resources for its Grow, Reimagine, Inspire, Transform (GRIT) program, which provides residential rehabilitation for individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ in recovery with substance-use and mental-health disorders.
“We are very grateful for the TD Charitable Foundation’s generous support that will help us fund community and social-engagement initiatives for these individuals as well as help meet some of their personal needs,” said Kimberley Lee, MHA’s vice president of Resource Development and Branding.
When the Yale Street program opened in March 2019, Lee added, “it was considered the first such residential model in the state for adults who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or queer. It is a population that has frequently faced discrimination and has had limited access to educational and rehabilitation services to support their recovery by staff with cultural-competency training. When people arrive at Yale Street, they are immediately surrounded by a community that understands them and their specific needs on their road to sustained recovery.”
Steve Webb, regional president for Southern New England at TD Bank, added that “too many people across New England struggle with mental-health and substance-use disorders, particularly members of the LGBTQ+ community. That’s why working with community organizations like the Mental Health Association and investing in programs like GRIT is so critical to helping people feel more confident about their health and their futures. Thanks to the incredible work of MHA and the support from the TD Charitable Foundation, individuals struggling with mental health and substance use will receive the support and resources they need to have the best chance at a successful recovery.”
Programming and services offered at Yale Street include recovery-based group therapy, how to cope mindfully with traumatic stress, and 24/7 individual support. Weekends may involve outings to area attractions.
“The TD Charitable Foundation grant will help fund additional outings that allow members to enjoy some of the venues and natural attractions locally,” Lee said. “It will help meet as well the personal needs of members, many of whom arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs, and allow them to select items, such as bedding, for their individual rooms.”
MHA’s GRIT program is licensed by the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Addiction Services and includes two homes in Springfield, one for men ages 18 to 26 beginning recovery that received earlier support from the TD Charitable Foundation.