The funding will be used to benefit groups and services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo City Council approves $2 million from America’s Rescue Plan Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Services Council to meet the mental and behavioral health needs of the community.

MHRSB Executive Director Scott Silak plans to use the money for several projects and community groups to help make a difference one person and one group at a time.

“This money sitting neither in ours nor in the city’s coffers is of no use,” said Sylak. “We need to bring it to the community, and we’re good at it. My council of affairs is getting this money well.”

The funding will be used to benefit groups and services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, spending it on six different projects that help mental health:

  • community mental health grants
  • mental health emergency response team
  • trauma and grief support
  • domestic violence treatment
  • Latinx based services
  • a mental institution called Dani’s Place.

Sylak said funding isn’t the only solution, but it will help.

“It’s a start. $2 million is a lot of money for anybody. We certainly appreciate it,” Sylak said. “We always know that need always exceeds resources.”

Nuestra Gente, a nonprofit that serves local Hispanic and Latino communities by providing essential services such as transportation, interpretation and other resources, will receive $70,000, founder Linda Parra said.

“We need to talk more about mental health issues in our communities,” Parra said. “There’s a stigma in our Latino community. We don’t talk about mental health. Families say we don’t need to talk about it, don’t worry.”

Part of that will go toward hiring another bilingual assistant.

“We don’t have enough bilingual professionals in these areas,” Parra said. “In mental health or when you go to the hospital, there’s a lack of bilingual doctors who can treat our Hispanics who don’t speak the language.”

MHRSB plans to start work on three of these projects as early as Tuesday, while the remaining three could see movement by the end of this month.

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