Struggling with mental health is hard enough when you have support ... Imagine what it's like when you lack the resources for basic life needs?
In Alexandria, there are low-income residents working hard to manage or recover from mental health conditions who have no one to turn to when emergency needs fall through the cracks. Unexpected health care costs, shortages in funds for housing and basic life needs—all can make staying on an already difficult path to recovery even harder.
They need community support. And Friends is ready to provide it.
This year, Friends of the Alexandria Mental Health Center turns 40! From 1984 to today, our mission has remained the same: to provide financial help and hope to Alexandrians who participate in City services for mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and intellectual / developmental disabilities. As we celebrate our 40th year, we ask that you please consider a donation in multiples of 40:
$40 pays for senior transportation to needed medical appointments
$80 pays for swim lessons for a child
$120 pays for a utility bill
$160 pays for medicine
$200 pays for dental work
$240 pays for groceries
$400 pays for back-to-school clothes for three children
$800 pays for rent
$1,600 pays for a specialized youth opioid addiction treatment
$2,000 pays for a co-pay for residential treatment
Not-for-profit organization founded in 1984
All volunteer, so every dollar you give goes directly to those in need
Who we serve: Low-income residents receiving care from the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services for mental illness, intellectual disability, and substance abuse
What we provide: Financial assistance for basic life needs, such as housing, clothes, transportation, and emergency health and dental care
Other support: Help with education; finding and maintaining employment; and participating more fully in community life.
An article about Friends can be found here. The following are examples of ways Friends has been able to assist DCHS clients.
- An unexpected health or dental issue can be particularly tough for individuals already struggling with a mental health condition. Friends tries to remove these barriers to recovery as quickly as possible. That’s why we helped when a client needed several teeth extracted to alleviate significant pain and decay. Unfortuntely, Medicaid does not pay anything for adult dental services. So we covered part of the cost of the care he received at the Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services Dental Clinic.
- A family receiving services from the Center for Children and Families received an unexpected bill. Without immediate payment, the interest on the bill would double. They paid it, but were then unable to pay their rent. Emergency support from Friends enabled them to stay in their home.
- A client in one of the city’s residential programs is an amputee, who relies on crutches to walk. He has no income and is currently in a vocational program to build job skills. However, he was struggling to cover the cost of regular tip replacements for the crutches, jeopardizing his ability to attend classes. Friends was able to supplement the cost of the crutch tips, as well as bus transportation, to keep him on the path to success.
Our commitment to community awareness
In addition to supporting individual needs, Friends also:
- co-sponsors community education events to reduce stigma
- helps purchase supplemental equipment for extended care residences
- advocates for mental health care programs
Community support is a critical component of recovery and well-being. Please join us to lend a hand, raise a voice, and foster understanding!
*Friends of the AMHC was originally established as Friends of the Alexandria Community Mental Health Center.