Investing in Behavioral Health with Nearly $8 Million in Grants

Mental and behavioral health are significant epidemics in the United States. CareFirst is working tirelessly to address the astounding statistics in our region.

Take Washington, D.C. as an example –

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that while the District does report lower rates of depression among youth, nearly 1 in 6 youth in Washington D.C. have attempted suicide, which is nearly double the national average.
  • That same CDC report shows that mental health outcomes in D.C. also reflect racial disparities. In D.C. minority students have higher rates of depression and suicide than white students.
  • Mental Health America reports that nationally, there is a shortage of mental health professionals and many people in need of services do not receive them. In D.C., only 40% of youth who had experienced a major depressive episode received mental health services.

These statistics are unacceptable. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) recently invested nearly $8 million to change the trajectory of behavioral health disparities in D.C.

Destiny-Simone Ramjohn, Ph.D., Vice President of Community Health and Social Impact at CareFirst, spoke with WTOP News about CareFirst’s grant investment in behavioral health programming throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

In the interview, Destiny discusses:

  • What the grants will be going towards
  • Why CareFirst chose Behavioral Health as a focus area for partnerships and philanthropic giving
  • Examples of grant recipients in the region and their programming

Through grant investments and partnerships, CareFirst works collaboratively with trusted community partners on a variety of programs and initiatives. By working together we can drive lasting impact and positive health outcomes in our region.

Read the full WTOP article and watch the interview.