BRANSON, Mo. — The Skaggs Legacy Endowment awards were held in Branson Thursday, with over $1 million granted to 24 Stone and Taney County agencies. The thread tying all of the causes together is community wellness.
Over $185,000 were distributed to various agencies aiding mental health.
“Currently, we’re serving 500 to 600 students across Stone and Taney County districts,” said Elizabeth Avery, VP of Youth Services for Burrell Behavioral Health.
The $120,000 granted to Burrell Behavioral Health will fund mental health services for area schools.
“80 percent of kids that get mental health services are getting them at school ,” said Avery. “It is a location they’re familiar with, and it is typically in their own community.”
Causes combating substance abuse go hand-in-hand with mental health services, according to Project Coordinator for the CoxHealth Substance Use Initiative Marietta Hagan. She has also seen the impact of empowering people to speak up firsthand.
“The dialogue in the community and letting the people who are struggling know that they’re valued, that they’re a person, that we as a community support them- is the most important part,” said Hagan.
Awarded participants were handed apples, as the Skaggs Foundation considers the fruit to be an icon of health, generosity and concern for others– mirroring the qualities of the agencies in attendance.