$2.5 million grant extends mental health services to south Miami-Dade families

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Thanks to a $2.5 million grant from The Children’s Trust, which funds programs in Miami-Dade that serve kids and families, Be Strong International will be able to provide mental health services to underserved families.

Be Strong International is a nonprofit that uses positive practices to educate parents and youth living in the Perrine, Goulds, and Richmond neighborhoods.  As a result of this grant, the largest the nonprofit has ever received, it will be able to provide additional support to residents struggling with significant depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders.

“We are so thankful to The Children’s Trust for this generous award,” said Michelle Shirley, CEO and Chief Heart Officer of Be Strong International. “This recognition not only validates the importance of our work with young people and their families, but it also provides vital financial assistance to expand this program in South Florida.”

Be Strong International will conduct door-to-door canvassing to identify and enroll families. The program will be led by a board-certified doctor specializing in psychiatry and neurology.

“This is only the beginning. Our intention is to create a systemic change over time, and we will need more partners to join us in this journey, added Shirley.”

The grant is tailored to provide behavioral health services for the next five years, for $500 thousand each year. The grant will renew annually contingent upon performance and funding availability.  Be Strong International is one of 22 providers that received funding as part of The Children’s Trust’s Family and Neighborhood Support Partnerships.

“Now more than ever, we are committed to helping to stabilize families in Miami-Dade,” said James R. Haj, President & CEO of The Children’s Trust.  “When a child’s family has its basic needs met, the child is more likely to achieve health, happiness, and success.”

For more information about Be Strong International and its many programs, visit https://bestrongintl.org.

About the Author:

Mayte Padron Cordones is an Emmy-award winning journalist and the director of WPLG's Community Relations Department, overseeing the station's outreach initiatives to benefit and strengthen the South Florida community.