SPRINGFIELD — The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts (PHIWM) received $10,000 from the Richard & Barbara Whitcomb Foundation. Andrea Whitcomb made this donation in memory of her father, who had a lifelong love of children and young people.
The money will be used to support the Springfield Youth Mental Health Coalition, which is working on a communications campaign to normalize talking about mental health and to support children and families.
In 2019, PHIWM embarked on a year-long planning process to identify an existing health concern exacerbated by the presence of a casino in Springfield. The advisory board gathered diverse community and content-expert input as well as data from existing community health needs assessments. The planning process narrowed from a list of 15 potential issues to one, youth behavioral health, leading to the convening of the Springfield Youth Mental Health Coalition.