Apr 18, 2024
The Cigna Group Foundation Announces New Grant Program To Address Youth Mental Health Crisis
Woman sitting at desk assembling kits
Employees assembled mental well-being kits with items such as stress balls, fidget key chains, and writing journals to help young people practice techniques that promote positive mental well-being.
  • Grant application now open for nonprofits that aim to improve youth mental health 
  • New multiyear philanthropic and community engagement initiative will also prioritize the mental health of veterans through housing stability and reducing barriers to health equity
  • Initiative encourages employee volunteerism, and launches with volunteer events to assemble mental well-being packs for local Boys & Girls Clubs

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., April 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing commitment to community health and vitality, global health company The Cigna Group (NYSE: CI) today announced a multiyear philanthropic and community engagement initiative focused on partnering with nonprofit organizations with expertise in three essential areas: improving youth mental health, bolstering veteran mental health through housing stability and services, and addressing barriers to health equity. As part of this engagement initiative, The Cigna Group Foundation will allocate more than $27 million in grants to nonprofit organizations over the next three years.

"The Cigna Group Foundation has a proud history of helping improve local communities through high-performing partnerships with nonprofit organizations," said Melissa Skottegaard, board chair, The Cigna Group Foundation. "Our society is only just beginning to recognize the scale of the mental health crisis for young people coming out of the pandemic, and our company is committed to doing our part to address these challenges that affect so many of us. We look forward to partnering with nonprofit organizations to improve the health of the communities we serve locally, nationally, and around the world."

Grant application to support youth mental health now open

According to a recent study from Economist Impact, commissioned by The Cigna Group, nearly half of parents surveyed (47%) reported their teen is experiencing mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. To help address this crisis, The Cigna Group Foundation has opened its grant application for organizations in select states and is encouraging nonprofits that specialize in supporting youth mental health and well-being to apply. The application will be open through May 22, 2024.

The Cigna Group Foundation's goals with these grants include increasing the reach of programming that fosters social-emotional skills and well-being, increasing the number of parents, caregivers, and youth service professionals who feel equipped to support; and increasing pathways to mental health intervention and access to care. The grant program will address post-pandemic stress and distress among 5–18-year-olds, with a first-year focus on programs and services delivered in schools and related settings.

The Cigna Group Foundation will prioritize grants in regions where The Cigna Group serves a significant number of customers with high and very high social determinant of health risks, including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, and targeted international communities.

To kick off the new initiative, employees volunteer in support of new grantee Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Among the first grantees is Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which will use funding to work with local clubs to train staff on how to identify the signs and symptoms of youth in distress and become trauma-informed in their policies, practices, and programs. As part of the new initiative's focus on enhancing volunteer opportunities for The Cigna Group's employees, hundreds of colleagues gathered in Bloomfield, Conn., Orlando, Fla. and St. Louis, Mo. to assemble mental well-being kits for distribution to local Boys & Girls Clubs. The kits included items such as stress balls, fidget key chains, and writing journals to help young people practice techniques that promote positive mental well-being. Additional employee volunteer events with the youth organization will occur in various offices throughout the months of April and May and will include activities for virtual employees to increase their mental health literacy as they seek to support youth in the community at organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

"We are grateful for the support of The Cigna Group Foundation to help young people gain access to critical programs that will help them build healthy coping strategies to manage stress and trauma in a supportive, constructive environment," said Chad Hartman, national vice president of corporate partnership and engagement, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "The mental and physical health of our nation's youth largely hinges on the village that surrounds them, and we are grateful that this partnership will allow us to expand that to more kids and teens across the nation."

Health equity and veteran wellness part of broader community engagement initiative

In addition to supporting nonprofits focusing on youth mental health, The Cigna Group Foundation will also look to partner with and provide grants to nonprofit organizations with expertise in the following areas:

  • Improving the mental health of military veterans through housing stability and homeownership with support services.
  • Reducing barriers to health equity through the newly formed The Cigna Group Health Equity Impact Fund that will launch later this year in targeted areas with significant social determinants of health that put that community's health and vitality most at risk.

Later this year, The Cigna Group Foundation will open applications for nonprofits focusing on veteran housing and reducing health disparities in communities.

For frequently asked questions (FAQs) and to apply for a grant, visit the Community website.

About The Cigna Group
The Cigna Group (NYSE:CI) is a global health company committed to creating a better future built on the vitality of every individual and every community. We relentlessly challenge ourselves to partner and innovate solutions for better health. The Cigna Group includes products and services marketed under Cigna Healthcare, Evernorth Health Services or its subsidiaries. The Cigna Group maintains sales capabilities in more than 30 countries and jurisdictions and has more than 189 million customer relationships around the world. Learn more at thecignagroup.com.

About The Cigna Group Foundation
The Cigna Group Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from The Cigna Group (NYSE:CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Group Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where employees of The Cigna Group live and work.

Media Contact
Jocelyn Parker
(313) 510-4173

SOURCE The Cigna Group