CAA Health is committed to being a good neighbor and through our new partnership with Amazon, we are continuing our mission to protect communities of color in Denver.

Together, we believe that mental health should no longer take a back-seat in people’s lives. Americans endured unprecedented stress and uncertainty over the last year and a half and communities of color are still suffering disproportionately from the pandemic. Through the Behavioral Health Assistance Program, we’re ensuring that the African American community in Denver is matched with therapists that ‘look like you’ and who understand the community’s needs when it comes to mental health.

The CAA Health Behavioral Health Assistance Program has been a beacon of light for those struggling with mental health. Amazon’s donation will help the team at CAA Health continue to offer culturally responsive resources to support Denver communities of color by maximizing their individual and family health through the pandemic.

“Now more than ever, Americans need accessible mental health care. The US was already facing a shortage of mental health care providers pre-pandemic, and communities of color already faced inequitable access to both physical and mental health care,” said Brittany Morris Saunders, Amazon’s Denver External Affairs Lead. “We’re proud to support CAA Health’s mission to uplift its community by making mental health care more accessible for people of color in Denver. We hope our investment in the community and commitment to CAA Health will further empower the local community.”

CAA Health works with the Therapist of Color Collaborative to connect patients with culturally competent mental health care providers. These providers can help individuals struggling with a myriad of issues, including depression, stress management, anxiety, marriage concerns, grief and loss, life transitions, parenting skills, substance abuse, bullying, and peer issues. Amazon’s donation will be invested in this partnership and help ensure that community members have access to comprehensive mental health care and support.

Rossina Santiago, Founder of the Therapist of Color Collaborative, a community partner facilitating CAA Health’s behavioral health program, shared some of her thoughts: “According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, Black and Latino communities throughout the US have been impacted by what they consider to be a ‘Double Jeopardy’ of being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and their access to and utilization of behavioral health services.

“Both of these communities, in comparison to the national average, have approximately 68% of those identified living with untreated behavioral health conditions. Unfortunately, much of this also coincides with approximately 88% of the mental health professionals in the workforce identifying as White according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. We are at a juncture where culturally based care has come to the foreground of how we address the needs of these communities and the importance of representative services is paramount. Having representative care where your provider ‘looks like you’ has been shown time and time again to improve help-seeking behaviors, engagement in services, compliance with treatment, and improve quality of life; this is precisely what this endeavor is doing!”

CAA Health will continue to prioritize mental health as our communities of color deal with the lasting effects of the pandemic, and Amazon will continue to be good neighbors by investing in what matters; the well-being of others.

CAA Health supports the health and wellbeing of African Americans because of the persistent health disparities that have plagued our community for generations. Through our partnership, we will continue to offer culturally responsive resources to support our community and ensure that our work to achieve health equity continues well into the future.