HANCOCK COUNTY — When the Hancock Well being Basis launched a brand new fund to help with psychological well being and substance abuse remedy firstly of 2020, officers had no concept simply how vital the fund would turn into within the coming 12 months.
The inspiration has raised $1.66 million for the endowment to this point, surpassing the unique objective of $1.3 million, however the want has since skyrocketed.
Resulting from a rising psychological well being and substance abuse disaster that has deepened throughout the pandemic, the endowment’s fundraising objective has been elevated to $3.5 million and prolonged for an additional 12 months or two.
The aim of the fund was all the time to help psychological well being and substance abuse remedy locally, mentioned basis director Nancy Davis. The elevated want ensuing from COVID-19 justified the necessity to almost triple the fund’s total objective, she mentioned.
Psychological well being specialists agree the pandemic has harmed the general state of psychological well being and has elevated substance abuse charges since its onset final spring.
Many individuals all around the nation have turned to alcohol and drug abuse, mentioned Davis, whereas an rising quantity have come ahead for psychological well being struggles, together with ideas of suicide.
On a latest convention name with hospital directors, Davis mentioned the group was celebrating the truth that COVID case numbers are happening, however a number of medical staff voiced concern in regards to the post-COVID fallout locally, like a rise in substance abuse and suicides.
(The variety of suicides within the county doubled to 10 in 2020 in comparison with 2019, in response to figures from the county coroner.)
“I used to be shocked to listen to (their suggestions), however then once more I wasn’t,” mentioned Davis. “This previous 12 months has taken a toll on everyone, no matter the place you’re at, and a few are clearly struggling greater than others.”
The elevated want may be felt all through the Hancock Well being system of care, she mentioned, from the inflow of recent sufferers at Hancock Counseling and Psychiatric Providers to the variety of folks in search of assist with day-to-day wants via Healthy365.
Cash from the inspiration’s latest fund will probably be used to offset the price of care being supplied by Hancock Well being, which usually sees a monetary loss in relation to psychological well being and substance abuse providers, Davis mentioned.
The well being basis’s predominant operate is to help the group and offset the price of well being care, she mentioned, primarily in areas the place Hancock Well being operates at a loss.
“So once you suppose hospice care; complete most cancers care; and psychological well being and substance abuse remedy, these are usually not extremely reimbursable or worthwhile” for the hospital, Davis mentioned.
Psychological well being providers specifically usually function within the purple, she mentioned, so the inspiration works to offset the underside line.
“We at present lose $2 million (yearly) in psychological well being care,” Davis mentioned.
Basis staffers labored the final quarter of 2019 getting ready to launch the brand new fund in January of 2020.
Earlier than going public with the marketing campaign, they first shared the fundraising efforts in-house with the hospital’s govt group and board members, then branched out to share with a couple of native companies and organizations.
“By January 2020 we had $800,000 given or pledged,” Davis mentioned.
Come mid-March, nonetheless, the inspiration rapidly turned its focus to COVID help, overseeing donations of private protecting gear, coordinating meals for hospital staffers and most not too long ago helping the vaccination group.
Now that the variety of native COVID instances is trending downward, the employees is popping its sights again to fundraising for the psychological well being and substance abuse remedy fund.
Given the improved want for psychological well being and substance abuse remedy within the county, basis officers be ok with rising the objective and increasing fundraising for an additional 12 months or two.
By way of all of it, Davis mentioned donors have continued to step as much as help the fund.
“We thought we have been going to lose all of 2020” when it comes to rising the fund, Davis mentioned, “however we really had a reasonably profitable 12 months.”
The inspiration wasted no time in paying out funds raised from the endowment. “Sometimes our endowments have a ready interval to begin to pay out, however due to this want, we determined to pay out the very first 12 months,” Davis mentioned.
Even given the monetary hit many individuals have taken over the previous 12 months, Davis isn’t shocked the group has stepped up the best way it has in contributing to the brand new endowment.
“I’ve been on this position for seven years, and I didn’t know what to anticipate, however I actually knew this group is extremely beneficiant. After they see a necessity, they only rise as much as meet it,” she mentioned.
At a look
The Hancock Well being Basis has raised greater than $1.6 million for its new psychological well being and substance abuse remedy fund, however officers say extra funds are wanted to deal with the rising want ensuing from points attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The inspiration, which exists to help Hancock Well being and Hancock Regional Hospital, has elevated the general objective to $3.5 million and prolonged fundraising for an additional 12 months or two.
For info on the way to help the endowment, or any of the inspiration’s funds, name 317-468-4583 or go to hancockregionalhospital.org/foundation/giving-opportunities.