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April 18, 2024

Cigna Group Foundation commits $27M in effort to support mental health, health equity

PHOTO | COSTAR Cigna headquarters in Bloomfield.

The Cigna Group Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Cigna Group, said Thursday it plans to invest more than $27 million in grants to support nonprofits that focus on mental health and health equity.

The Bloomfield-based insurer said its foundation’s initiative will partner with nonprofits with expertise in three areas: improving youth mental health, bolstering veteran mental health through housing stability and services, and addressing barriers to health equity.

To do this, the foundation said, it will allocate more than $27 million in grants to nonprofit organizations over the next three years.

"The Cigna Group Foundation has a proud history of helping improve local communities through high-performing partnerships with nonprofit organizations," said Melissa Skottegaard, foundation board chair. "Our society is only just beginning to recognize the scale of the mental health crisis for young people coming out of the pandemic, and our company is committed to doing our part to address these challenges that affect so many of us.”

The grant program will address post-pandemic stress and distress among 5- to 18-year-olds, with a first-year focus on programs and services delivered in schools and related settings, the foundation said.

It has opened the application process for organizations in select states and encourages nonprofits that specialize in supporting youth mental health and well-being to apply. Applications  will be accepted through May 22.

The foundation said it will prioritize grants in regions where The Cigna Group serves a significant number of customers “with high and very high social determinant of health risks,” including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, as well as in targeted international communities.

The foundation will also look to provide grants to nonprofit organizations with expertise in the following areas:

  • Improving the mental health of military veterans through housing stability and homeownership with support services.
  • Reducing barriers to health equity through the newly formed The Cigna Group Health Equity Impact Fund, which will launch later this year in targeted areas” with significant social determinants of health that put that community's health and vitality most at risk,” it said.

Later this year, the foundation will open applications for nonprofits focusing on veteran housing and reducing health disparities in communities, it said.

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