Simmons University Receives more than $400,000 in a grant from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

An aerial view of the Simmons University academic campus

Simmons University has received grant funding from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to address health needs in the communities the hospital serves. The $416,000 grant awarded to Simmons University will help support mental and behavioral health at Fenway High School located in Mission Hill.

The grant awarded to Simmons was part of a total of $7.25 million BIDMC announced in support for 11 local organizations.

“We are grateful for this funding that will play a critical role in helping Boston Public School students gain additional knowledge and skills to better understand, prevent, and manage mental and behavioral health challenges,” said Simmons Professor Gary Bailey, who also serves as the Simmons School of Social Work MSW Program Director. “This funding will also enable Simmons students working in the health professions to collaborate with and train fellow peer leaders at Fenway High School on best practices and evidence-based strategies to support mental health.”

“Our partners through the Community-based Health Initiative do tremendous and impactful work every day to address health and social needs,” said Pete Healy, President of BIDMC and Divisional President, Metro Boston, Beth Israel Lahey Health. “We are proud to support their ongoing work with our latest round of grants.”

The grant will also play an important role in advancing overall mental health and wellness education and awareness among students.

“Too often young people facing mental and behavioral health challenges face the additional burden of dealing with the stigma that can accompany them,” said Simmons Associate Professor Patricia Rissmiller. “We want to thank BIDMC for supporting efforts to increase student understanding of behavioral health, which will help to reduce bias and stigma.”

“Fenway is excited about partnering with Simmons and BIDMC to work to advance wellness initiatives at Fenway High School,” said Geoffrey Walker, Head of School of Fenway High School. “One thing we learned in the COVID pandemic was the importance of supporting students’ social-emotional well-being and this partnership will bring this together.”

Since 2019, BIDMC has awarded $18.4 million in grants to invest in the health and well-being of the surrounding community. Through these grants, community partners have helped increase access to healthcare, employment opportunities and housing options.

Visit the BIDMC website for a full list of projects supported by BIDMC.

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Laura Wareck