Community Foundation of the Ozarks Awards Senior Mental Health Grants

Senior citizens in the Ozarks are being given multiple opportunities for a better quality of life thanks to $40,000 in grants given today by Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Grants were given to five area organizations with an aim at dealing with mental health challenges for older residents such as social isolation, despair and community engagement.

“Mental health is a priority health issue for the community, and our senior residents face unique challenges,” Bridget Dierks, Vice President of Programs for CFO, said in a statement. “We are grateful to have organizations in the area willing to take bold approaches to address these needs.”

The five groups receiving funds are:

  • The Library Foundation: $2,300 for the Movies and Memories project to provide socialization through programs for seniors and people living with dementia in the welcoming and stimulating environment of the Library Center. The project also will provide kits for Library Outreach and any care partners that want to replicate the program.
  • Lost & Found Grief Center: $7,700 to provide five therapeutic grief support groups for older adults grieving the loss of a young adult child or spouse of many years.
  • NAMI Southwest Missouri: $10,000 for the Greene County Senior Peer Support Program to train adults 55 and older to offer support and connection to other senior adults through shared experience, ensuring those in need are connected to appropriate mental health resources and care.
  • SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging: $10,000 to launch the Counseling for Seniors Project at the Northview Center and Southside Senior Center.
  • United Way of the Ozarks: $10,000 to support the Give 5 Civic Matchmaking Program to match innovative volunteer opportunities with retired (or almost retired) adults 60 and older who live in Greene County as a way to reduce social isolation and increase community engagement among seniors.

The applications used the “Canary Measure”, an evaluation method created by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. This is the first round of grants for the program which is aimed at addressing a priority community health issue as identified by the Ozarks Health Commission.

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