Superior Health Foundation pledges $1.1 million toward children’s mental health

A round table discussion was also held on Tuesday at Marquette Alger RESA (MARESA).
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 8:18 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Superior Health Foundation (SHF) has dedicated its yearly proactive grant-giving process to combat the decline of children’s mental health.

The foundation has pledged to donate $1.1 million for over the next two years. A round table discussion was also held on Tuesday at Marquette Alger RESA (MARESA). Experts in pediatric and mental health fields talked about concerns in children’s mental health.

SHF Executive Director Jim LaJoie said this format has proven to be beneficial.

“One of the things that happens with these roundtable discussions is we have a good dialogue,” LaJoie said. “We basically set the tone by saying: ‘We want you to think big today, we want you to think about collaborating, working with like-minded partners that can partner together and work on solutions to this.”

More than 60 experts from therapists to educators attended the meeting. They shared and compared factors hurting children’s mental health.

“The most impactful mental health needs that we are seeing across our school districts with our students would be depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and ideation, [which are] pretty significant behavioral needs,” said MARESA’s Director of Mental Health Services Dr. Jennifer Krzewina.

LaJoie said this discussion was the start of a multi-step process.

“From this discussion today, we will develop a request for proposals in June that will go out U.P. wide, then we will award first-year funding in October,” LaJoie said.

Last week, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund agreed to donate $150,000 in matching funding to the cause. LaJoie also said that there will be more to come.