UnitedHealth Foundation awards $2 million for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth initiatives

The United Health Foundation has announced a three-year grant partnership that it hopes will address disparities related to high rates of suicide, depression and anxiety among LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth in Minnesota.

The $2 million award from the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group will span three years, and help Rainbow Health provide, "culturally responsive, high-quality mental health care and substance use services to more than 250 new people," according to an announcement on Wednesday.

It will also aim to, "connect clients to support services such as transitional housing, health insurance and transportation assistance to help address high rates of homelessness and other unmet social needs," UnitedHealth said.

Founded in 1983, Rainbow Health offers more than 20 programs that specialize in mental healthcare.

The grant is the largest in the organization’s history.

"This will help to support hundreds of our most vulnerable young people, and connect them to the care that they need," said Rainbow Health CEO Jeremy Hanson Willis at the press conference. "This will directly address the high rates of suicide, depression and anxiety in our communities, giving people the support and validation they need to succeed."

Four of five LGBTQ+ respondents to Rainbow Health’s 2021 Voices of Health Survey reported they were experiencing moderate to severe mental distress at the time.