St. Petersburg mayor pledges millions towards mental health aid

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Mayor Ken Welch, Dr. Ladonna Butler, and more at Eckerd College // Credit: Chris Young 7/7/23

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St. Petersburg has allocated 8.6 million dollars to a new mental health initiative. The city’s mayor made this announcement Friday at the “Healing While Black” summit at Eckerd College.

Mayor Ken Welch was one of many speakers at the opening of the summit focusing on the mental health of minorities.

“It’s important to recognize the problem. To remove the stigma of mental health in our community. And to tell the stories of the families who do not have access to life-changing mental health services.”

He finished off his speech by announcing the grant.

The grant is for the creation of what Welch calls “community support hubs” that will address mental health challenges in the St. Pete community.

Dr. LaDonna Butler is the founder of The Well and spoke at the summit. The Well was selected as the lead organization to design and implement the community hubs.

“We are worthy of investment! We are worthy of investment, and you just heard a response to worthiness.”

The funds are coming from Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. Welch says that more details are to come.

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