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Colts owners announce $1.4 million in Kicking The Stigma grants

The grants went to nonprofits that provide mental health treatment.
Credit: Colts

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly two dozen nonprofit organizations received a total of $1.4 million in grants from Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts through the Kicking The Stigma Action Grants program.

Irsay announced the grant recipients Monday. The organizations, most of which are based in Indiana, provide mental health services or resources.

"In the past two years of Kicking The Stigma, we've been fortunate to meet so many great people and organizations across our state and country who are doing important work to bring hope and help to so many who are struggling with mental illnesses," said Colts Vice Chair and Owner Kalen Jackson. "We have great respect and admiration for these dedicated advocates, so we hope these Action Grants will help them continue to bring this topic out of the darkness and into the light."

Here are the grant recipients and a description of the work each organization does:

  • A Kid Again - Indiana Chapter: A Kid Again's mission is to foster hope, happiness and healing for families raising kids with life-threatening conditions. The grant will support its Holiday Balance Box, which provides mental health support for families raising children with life-threatening conditions.
  • Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources (Indianapolis): Agape's mission is to cultivate personal growth by strengthening the mind, body and spirit through unique horse-assisted experiences. The grant will support its Beyond the Barn program, which addresses mental health through equine therapy and other equestrian activities.
  • American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) (Statewide): Since physician assistants are often the first points of contact for patients in primary care and other practices, the grants funded training in Mental Health First Aid,©  which teaches trainees how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses. A cohort of Indiana physician assistants received this initial training at the Colts headquarters in Indianapolis and will go on to train at least 2,000 more people in Indiana.
  • Ascension St. Vincent Hospital (Indianapolis): The grant will support the hospital system's Question-Persuade-Refer outreach, which trains participants to be able to recognize the warning signs of suicidal thinking, behavior, attempts and "question, persuade and refer" at-risk people for help.
  • Brightlane Learning (formerly School on Wheels) (Indianapolis): Brightlane’s mission is to transform the lives of students impacted by homelessness with personalized tutoring and academic support. The grant will support training in social-emotional learning and trauma informed care for Brightline volunteers.
  • Brooke's Place (Indianapolis): Brooke's Place provides support groups, therapy services and community education to empower children, teens and their families to thrive in the midst of grief. The grant will support its Youth Grief Access Project (Y-Gap), a program centered around peer support groups and individual therapy.
  • Carmel (Ind.) Education Foundation: The grant will support the Carmel schools' Rise & Grow Fund, which provides mental health services for Carmel students in need to help prepare them for positive outcomes in all areas of their life.
  • Courageous Healing (Fort Wayne): Courageous Healing's mission is to restore, strengthen and facilitate healing through culturally centered mental health services and supports. The grant will support programming that serves uninsured, underinsured, and low-income Hoosiers, with an intentional focus on targeting minority populations in northeast Indiana.
  • Greenwood (Ind.) Education Foundation (GEF): During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent that students could not reach their full academic potential if their physical, mental, emotional and social needs had not been met. The grant will fund the GEF Cares Youth & Family Assistance Program, which was created to help make food, clothing and mental health resources affordable and accessible for the youth and families in the Greenwood schools.
  • Hamilton Southeastern Education Foundation (Fishers): The grant will support the foundation's Project HOPE Fund, which provides students in need with access to school-based mental health services.
  • HVAF of Indiana (Statewide): HVAF houses, supports and advocates for veterans and their families to achieve a better quality of life and serves veterans experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness. The grant will support HVAF's therapy program, which offers intensive therapy services through a full-time licensed mental health clinician and two full-time peer mentors.
  • Indiana University Southeast School of Nursing (New Albany): The grant will fund training in Mental Health First Aid for the school’s nursing students.
  • Indiana Youth Group (IYG) (Statewide): IYG creates safer spaces to foster community and provides programming that empowers and magnifies the voices of LGBTQ+ youth. The grant will support Help Us Grow Stronger, IYG’s mental health counseling program.
  • Mental Health America (MHA) of Indiana (Statewide): MHA of Indiana values the need to work collaboratively with a variety of organizations that can help leverage the communities they serve through promotion of prevention for all, early identification, intervention for those at risk, integrated health and behavioral health care for those who need it and recovery as a goal.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Indianapolis: NAMI Greater Indianapolis is a grass-roots family, friend and consumer organization working with NAMI Indiana and NAMI National to improve the lives of persons and families affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy.
  • Noblesville (Ind.) Schools Education Foundation: The purpose of Noblesville Schools Education Foundation is to promote and invest in the Noblesville schools through grants, scholarships, strategic partnerships and volunteer support. The grant will fund mental health support services for Noblesville schools’ student and staff.
  • Postpartum Support International Indiana (PSI-IN): PSI-IN promotes awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing across Indiana. The grant will support its statewide High-Risk Training Initiative for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder.
  • Project Healthy Minds (National): Project Healthy Minds is a millennial-driven organization that builds anti-stigma campaigns that change attitudes, technology that makes it easier and faster to discover help, and programs and partnerships that expand access to care. Its two centerpieces are: building a free, one-stop digital referral platform to increase access to care and designing a multi-platform anti-stigma campaign featuring culture-makers and influencers.
  • Public Advocates in Community Re-Entry (Indianapolis): Its mission is to provide a variety of services to incarcerated and previously incarcerated individuals and their families to lead productive and responsible lives in their community.  The grants will fund certified peer recovery coaches who bring the lived experience of substance use disorder and recovery, combined with professionalized training, to assist others on their journeys to recovery.
  • Riley Children's Foundation (Statewide): The grant will fund Riley’s Indiana Behavioral Access Program for Youth (Be Happy), which aims to improve Hoosier families' access to best practice pediatric behavioral health care across the state by supporting health care providers in their local communities with guidance from psychiatric specialists.
  • Step-Up (Indianapolis): Step-Up provides comprehensive HIV care and resources for wellness with dignity and inclusivity. The grant will support its Reentry Program, which provides wraparound supports such as mental health and substance use disorder counseling, resources for transportation, housing and employment, and ongoing support for people involved in the criminal justice system.
  • The Milk Bank (Statewide): The Milk Bank promotes community health by expanding the safe use of human milk for all babies, especially premature and ill infants. The grant will support its Mind Body Spirit Group facilitation, an evidenced-based program for healing population-wide psychological trauma and stress.
  • Tindley Accelerated Schools (Indianapolis): The grant will support a "reset room" as part of the Indianapolis charter school network’s Enhanced Behavioral Health Services.

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