United Way grants funding for St. Tammany mental health services


NEW ORLEANS – United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) announced the distribution of grant funding to support suicide prevention, mental health services and crisis response in St. Tammany Parish amidst the ongoing public health and economic crisis.

“As we share in the ongoing effects of the global pandemic and economic downturn, we cannot forget the people in our community who are struggling with the emotional challenges that come with navigating a crisis,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO. “United Way is thankful for our donors who enabled this critical funding to ensure mental health assistance is readily available when it is needed most.”

UWSELA will grant $15,000 in immediate support to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office (STPSO) for its crisis intervention team and mental health first aid classes.  

"My office is extremely grateful to United Way for its generous grant supporting the STPSO crisis intervention team and continued mental health first aid training," said St. Tammany Sheriff Randy Smith. "Many times, our deputies are the first to encounter someone suffering from a mental crisis, and this funding will be used to ensure we are able to assist those individuals and their families accordingly."

The funding was made possible through the 2020 Red Beans ‘N’ Rice cook-offs held in west and east St. Tammany. This year’s drive-through cook-offs raised over $16,000. 

UWSELA organizes the annual cook-offs in partnership with St. Tammany Fire Districts (No. 1, No. 4 and No. 12), St. Tammany Parish Government, Covington Fire Department, Slidell Fire Department and Camellia Beans.

The remaining Red Beans proceeds will support UWSELA’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in St. Tammany, which maintains a waiting list for participation.

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Crisis Intervention Specialists are ready to listen, provide emotional support and help you develop a safety plan if necessary.


About United Way of Southeast Louisiana

For 95 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit UnitedWaySELA.org. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.