Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young Announces New COVID-19 Coordinated Mental Health Recovery Effort

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Bernard C. "Jack" Young
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
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James E. Bentley II
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BALTIMORE, MD.  — Today, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced the COVID-19 Coordinated Mental Health Recovery Effort to combat the impact of stress and trauma caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Young issued the following statement:

“Baltimore will not wait for the end of the pandemic to begin our mental health recovery” Mayor Young said. “It is essential that we provide residents the resources to cope and recover during this critical time. We understand trauma is real in our city and we will address it head on, because that is the only way we can truly continue to build Baltimore.”

This new initiative will seek to expand access to mental health resources, map and connect institutions providing resources for healing, and provide pathways for individuals to get involved and support each other. Mayor Young has tapped Councilman Zeke Cohen, who sponsored an earlier trauma-related care act, to lead the effort.

“The mental health impact of the coronavirus has been devastating,” Councilman Cohen said. “Yet too often, mental health is not part of the conversations. As the City that passed the nation’s most far-reaching legislation on trauma, Baltimore must bring that same urgency and focus to healing in this moment.”

The initiative will include an ongoing webinar with a focus on healing through the arts, self-care, community healing, and other topics. It will work to map and connect institutions like hospitals, community organizations, religious institutions, and others to offer support for people in need. It will also offer opportunities for individuals to get involved in supporting the emotional well being of others.

Earlier this year, Mayor Young signed into law the Elijah Cummings Healing City Act, which aimed to prevent, reduce, and respond to trauma in Baltimore City. However, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has yielded not only physical devastation, but a mental health crisis as well. According to psychologist Dr. George Everly of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, we are now facing a “hidden pandemic,” in which the mental health impact can be twenty-five times more debilitating than the physical devastation.  

“I want to thank Councilman Cohen and all of those who are partnering with our City to heal our neighbors through this effort,” Mayor Young said.

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