October 26, 2022
WELLESLEY, Mass., Oct. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Life has expanded its philanthropic support to help broaden access to mental health services for underserved and at-risk communities. Recognizing the impact of mental wellness on overall health, Sun Life is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Black Mental Health Alliance for Education & Consultation, Inc. (BMHA) to support programs offering mental health and wellness services to communities that typically have limited access.
"Mental health is part of overall health, and everyone should have access to care, no matter their income level or where they live," said Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. "Mental wellness can have a substantial impact on a person's ability to stay healthy, work, and care for their family and themselves. We are pleased to be able to support these two organizations that are doing great work to connect mental and physical health, and bring services, education and support programs to communities in need throughout the country."
Black Mental Health Alliance offers educational forums, referral services, and trainings that support health and wellness in Black and vulnerable communities. BMHA engages clinicians, community health groups, and individuals and families to connect people to care providers, improve mental health outcomes, and address issues significant to the Black community, including historical and race-based trauma, mental health stigma, and social detriments of health. Sun Life will support two programs with BMHA: the Community Rap Sessions program, a healing-focused initiative that will increase access to mental health treatment, educate on disorders, and seek to reduce stigma; and Generation Now: My Mind is Art, a short-term summer program providing education, life and coping skills, and workforce development opportunities for Baltimore-area youth.
"This critical support from Sun Life will assist the Black Mental Health Alliance in continuing to address the trauma experienced by the Black community, particularly the adolescent and young adult population," said Andrea Brown, executive director, BMHA. "More importantly, this supports a larger movement that includes healing and wellness for the Black community and other underserved communities, utilizing African centered engagement and healing practices through training and circles, which are essential to the communities we serve. Sun Life's generosity helps us expand our reach, train community members, partners and stakeholders, and heighten awareness about mental health and healing in the Black community.
National Alliance on Mental Illness works to educate, support, advocate, listen and lead, to improve the lives of people with mental illness and their loved ones. NAMI is made up of more than 650 affiliates and state organizations in local communities across the country, which provide support not previously available to those in need. Recognizing the growing correlation between mental and physical health, Sun Life is partnering with NAMI to help relaunch its Hearts+Minds initiative, which provides education and resources to help people with mental illness manage their physical health. The program will meet the immediate and long-term needs of individuals with serious mental illness, including those with limited access to wellness resources.
"Historically, underserved and underrepresented communities have had less access to quality, affordable mental health care, which has impacted their ability to get help early and the best possible care," said Jessica Edwards, chief development officer, NAMI. "NAMI has significantly stepped up our efforts to reach more people with our free, local support groups and education programs. We also advocate for everyone to get the help they need, when and where they need it. We are grateful to partners like Sun Life, who share this commitment and dedication."
Sun Life's philanthropic strategy has been centered on diabetes causes for the past 10 years, with a growing focus on expanding access to health services. Understanding the close correlation between mental and physical health and recognizing that health inequity is also prevalent for mental health services, Sun Life engaged NAMI and BMHA to support their programming. Supporting mental and behavioral health as both a primary and secondary condition is also a key part of Sun Life's disability recovery and return-to-work strategy.
To learn more about Sun Life's philanthropic and community support efforts, including support of underserved and at-risk communities, visit www.sunlife.com/us/en/about/our-community-involvement/.
To learn more about Sun Life's resources for building a workplace mental wellness strategy, visit www.sunlife.com/mentalwellness.
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2022, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1.26 trillion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
In the United States, Sun Life is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 55,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life's broad portfolio of insurance products and services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life, dental, vision, voluntary and medical stop-loss. Sun Life and its affiliates in asset management businesses in the U.S. employ approximately 8,000 people. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.). For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.
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