Newport Mental Health today announced that over $350,000 was recently awarded to its organization by three foundations to help offset costs of renovating a portion of its 65 Valley Road facility into combined primary care and mental health clinic.

“Knowing how COVID has affected all of us, the important work that Newport Mental Health is doing for the community is needed now more than ever before. Thank you so much,” said Trustee Gladys Szapary of the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust in a statement.

Along with McBean Charitable Trust, two other foundations, The Champlin Foundation, and van Beuren Charitable  Foundation helped Newport Mental Health secure funding for its capital project.

“Co-locating a primary care unit in our mental health center is an effort to address the significant health disparities for people with serious mental health conditions,” said CEO and President Jamie Lehane of Newport Mental Health in a statement. “Research shows that people with serious mental health conditions have a 20 year shorter lifespan than those without.” According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, about 74 percent of the people with serious mental health challenges have chronic health problems, such as gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and cardiovascular conditions.

Lehane added that the clinic will help alleviate transportation and scheduling issues for those with limited resources while also providing enhanced overall health.

“Our grant to Newport Mental Health is a reflection of our confidence in the organization’s ability to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders in significant ways,” said Nina Stack, Executive Director of The Champlin Foundation.

Newport Mental Health, a federally Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic offers evidence-based mental health services to the 82,000 residents of Newport County, regardless of ability to pay. On an annual basis, NMH serves over 1,450 high risk adults and children at its five locations.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).