CHIP Founding Executive Director Kat Rosqueta joined Afi Tengue, the VP of Philanthropy and Impact at GIving Compass, to talk about mental health issues and solutions in the age of COVID. The discussion reviews the pandemic and the disruption it has brought to livelihoods and mental health of various communities. Some communities, especially those of color, have been disproportionately affected.
“The crises of COVID lays bare the structural inequalities that existed before Covid and just drives it farther” Rosqueta said. “That structural inequality is often along lines of race. There are well documented disparities just based on the deaths and infection rates based on race and ethnicity.”
In addition to race, Rosqueta notes that these disparities also exist along lines of gender and socio-economic class. Access to healthcare, housing, and food security, are challenges that such groups might struggle with more– especially as a result of the pandemic.
COVID-19 has brought into light several critical elements that are necessary in our approach to mental health that can incite change for the better. Factors such social stigma, parity, and lacking a representative workforce to provide mental health services in the first place,
serve as considerable barriers. Rosqueta urges that improvements in these areas will allow significant advances to be made in the conversation of mental health support in the long term. As the world is recovering from the pandemic, we have the opportunity to build back better.
Continuing along the conversation of supporting mental health amidst the pandemic, Rosqueta highlighted the critical role of nonprofit organizations. She points out the immediate need nonprofits working in this cause have for funding, effective grantmaking, and most importantly, partnerships. “Mental health is often seen as a fringe issue,” she noted. “They need more partners who can integrate considerations of mental health into the other cause areas that we know donors care about.” Likewise, giving nonprofits adequate financial support to efficiently provide their services allows for these organizations to deliver the most impact under a time of crises.
Learn more about strategies to support mental health and addiction in Health in Mind: A Philanthropic Guide for Mental Health and Addiction, and CHIP’s follow-up guidance, COVID-19 Pandemic: Supporting Mental Health.