The partnership brings free mental health access to veterans, LGBTQ+ youth and low-income residents in the National Capital Area through three United Way NCA nonprofit partners.
July 7, 2021 – For many in the National Capital Area, it’s relatively easy to connect with a mental health expert, therapist or counselor to talk through problems, receive a mental health diagnosis, learn coping mechanisms to deal with trauma and feel safe to communicate complex emotions to a trusted source. But for marginalized populations in our community, talking about mental health can be taboo, and reaching out to a therapist may not be possible due to inequities in health care access.
United Way of the National Capital Area is improving equity in the region by focusing on the health, education and economic opportunity of all community members. At United Way NCA, we recognize that health is not just limited to nutrition or physical strength and endurance—mental health is also key to wellness.
To increase access to mental health care for populations that are often overlooked or don’t have the means to seek out mental health resources, United Way NCA launched a partnership with Talkspace on June 1. Talkspace, an online and mobile therapy company, connects users to licensed therapists to conduct virtual therapy sessions. Users can access Talkspace’s therapists and tools 24/7, all from their smartphones or computers.
Through United Way NCA’s partnership with Talkspace, National Capital Area community members will have free access to Talkspace for three months. Specifically, access codes will be given to our region’s veterans, LGBTQ+ youth and low-income residents. United Way NCA is working with three nonprofit community partners to identify those who need access to mental health care the most. These partners include SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders), Bread for the City and Veterans Services Office at Prince George’s Community College.
SMYAL supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan region through youth leadership, creating opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy.
Bread for the City helps Washington, DC residents living with low incomes to develop their power to determine the future of their own communities. Bread for the City provides food, clothing, medical care and legal and social services to reduce the burden of poverty for DC residents.
The Veterans Services Office at Prince George’s Community College helps military veterans and the dependents of disabled or deceased veterans apply for educational benefits. The office also helps with tutoring and academic and career counseling.
By convening our three nonprofit partners, United Way NCA is breaking down barriers to mental health access, increasing health equity in our community. To learn more about our programmatic work surrounding health, visit unitedwaynca.org/health.
About United Way of the National Capital Area
United Way of the National Capital Area improves the health, education and economic opportunity of every person in the National Capital community. United Way NCA has been improving lives by creating measurable impact in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties for more than 45 years. In 2020, United Way NCA was among 384 organizations across the United States to receive a generous transformational investment from novelist and venture philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott. For more information about United Way of the National Capital Area, visit UnitedWayNCA.org.