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Clinics Across Florida, New Jersey & California Advancing Mental Health in Underserved Communities – Awarded Funding from Teva Pharmaceuticals, Direct Relief and NAFC

Community Routes: Access to Mental Healthcare, a partnership between Direct Relief, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, provides awards to support clinics expanding access to mental health services across three states



Health workers at Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, or BVMI, in Hackensack, New Jersey is one of 11 free clinics in three states that will receive funding to expand mental health services. The clinic will use funding to support Spanish speaking patients with a bilingual mental health practitioner. (Courtesy photo)

Teva Pharmaceuticals, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) and Direct Relief announced today – as part of a two-year, $2 million commitment – the awarding of $825,000 in grant funding for 11 free and charitable clinics addressing mental health across Florida, New Jersey and California.

The grant awardees were selected for their innovative and practical approaches to mental health care, which include efforts to expand healthcare access for underserved and vulnerable patients experiencing mental and behavioral health issues, with a focus on depression and anxiety.

“The free and charitable clinics chosen for this initiative are already providing outstanding care in their communities, and this funding, generously provided by Teva, will allow them to do even more, by expanding life-saving mental health care to those who need it most,” said Thomas Tighe, CEO and President of Direct Relief.

In addition to funding, Teva is making a broad portfolio of generic mental health medications available on a charitable basis.

”Teva is proud to partner with Direct Relief and the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics on Community Routes: Access to Mental Health Care, a novel health equity initiative aiming to expand access to healthcare services for underserved populations,” added Dr. Sven Dethlefs, Executive Vice President, North America Commercial. “At Teva, we know how critical it is to enable access to medicines that help improve people’s lives and look forward to seeing how these local clinics create or expand needed programs that drive real impact for patients.”

Anxiety and depression disorders affect more than 40 million adults in the U.S. annually. Additionally, 84 percent of physicians reported an increase in new diagnoses of mental health conditions since the pandemic began, especially among racial and ethnic minorities and lower-income households, according to a recent nationwide survey by the Morehouse School of Medicine and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“Through this program, clinics will be able to enhance and expand access to crucial mental health services for their communities,” said Nicole Lamoureux, President and CEO of NAFC. “The NAFC is grateful that Direct Relief and Teva Pharmaceuticals not only recognize the barriers to care communities often face and the importance of mental health care, but that they also are taking steps to join with the NAFC and support our clinics on the ground to provide solutions and increased access to care.”

The 2022 winners are:


University of Florida Mobile Outreach in Gainesville, Florida – Creates and disseminates evidence-informed, easily accessible mental health wellness curriculum to underserved populations via trusted community members through a mobile outreach model.

Grace Medical Home in Orlando, Florida – Expands an existing program that proactively identifies trauma and offers individualized interventions through an integrated, whole-person, multi-disciplinary approach to improve health outcomes.

Talbot House Ministries of Lakeland, Inc., in Lakeland, Florida – Supports medication reconciliation services provided through the pharmacy, outreach and event coordination, and outreach to homeless encampments to connect with clinical services and referrals for mental health care, patient transportation, and education.


Cape Volunteers in Medicine in Cape May Court House, New Jersey – Improves mental and behavioral health access and treatment among at-risk populations by expanding depression and anxiety screenings. Funding will also support community events to identify community members’ mental and physical needs.

Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, Inc., in Hackensack, New Jersey – Increases capacity and fills a much-needed gap in care for Spanish-speaking patients with depression and anxiety through the support of a bilingual mental health practitioner.

Parker Family Health Center in Red Bank, New Jersey – Supports collaboration with the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County, which allows for a bilingual therapist to offer weekly counseling and the creation of mental health education to be shared at live community events, virtually, and digitally.


Samaritan House in San Mateo, California – Samaritan House in San Mateo, California – Expands existing mental health services to include a traineeship program for students pursuing advanced degrees in marriage and family therapy or social work. The program also aims to strengthen collaboration with community organizations that provide more specialized care, develop educational resources, and offer comprehensive services to patients with depression and anxiety.

Symba Center in Apple Valley, California – Supports successful, trauma-informed, mental and behavioral health care at a homeless shelter site.

Westminster Free Clinic in Thousand Oaks, California – Offers a range of mental health services, including individual and peer support, and a training program that empowers parents to identify the early signs of mental health issues.

Lestonnac Free Clinic in Orange, California – Supports a licensed clinical social worker and programs to provide care through a trauma-informed lens, who will also supervise and mentor interns from local colleges and universities.

Savie Health in Lompoc, California – Provides culturally sensitive resources and referrals to help patients overcome barriers to mental health care through bilingual community health workers.

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