Children’s Health Council Awarded $2.5 Million to Provide COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis Recovery by Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall Initiative

Twitter and Square Co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has awarded Children’s Health Council (CHC) $2.5 million to support the Bay Area agency’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Initiative to build capacity to respond to the mental health needs of children, teens, young adults and families that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

The #StartSmall funding will help CHC swiftly and expertly respond to the 150% increased call volume from individuals and families seeking mental health support, and to plan for and ramp up capacity for what is expected to be a long period of mental and emotional health recovery even after the immediate physical health crisis abates.

“We are seeing evidence daily that there will be a long tail of mental and emotional health impacts in the aftermath of this pandemic. The already high incidence of anxiety, depression, social and educational challenges has risen dramatically in the past year and we are grateful for this gift that allows us to add staff, build programs, and expand community outreach especially in disproportionately affected communities,” said Rosalie Whitlock, PhD, CEO of Children’s Health Council.

The #StartSmall grant allows Children’s Health Council COVID-19 Crisis Response Initiative to:

  • Double financial aid so more families, regardless of income, can access top-quality clinical and educational services.
  • Offer more free community education classes, support groups, and resources.
  • Increase capacity to meet mental health needs of children and families in underserved communities by hiring more bilingual and community clinicians, and by adding support staff to expedite the intake process.
  • Provide more school-based parent education and outreach.
  • Support the health and well-being of our own front-line workers and clinicians during this time of escalated stress and fatigue.

“During this crisis our teams, partners and the community have come together compassionately and with purpose to support one another, our clients and students, and to lead us forward toward emotional recovery. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of spirit and financial resources that have made this journey bearable, and which will allow us as a community to emerge stronger at the other end,” said Dr. Whitlock.

For more information about CHC, or to seek support or resources, visit

About #StartSmall

#StartSmall is Jack Dorsey’s philanthropic initiative to fund global COVID-19 relief, girls health and education, and efforts towards Universal Basic Income. Dorsey transferred $1 billion (28% of his wealth) to #StartSmall in 2020.

A screening can help you determine if you or someone you care about should contact a mental health professional. Care Managers can arrange a free 30-minute Care Consultation so you can explore options with an expert. Call or email our Care Managers at 650.688.3625 or to set up an initial Consultation appointment.


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