Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) joined representatives from YMCAs throughout the region at a press conference held Wednesday morning to unveil a new Wellbeing Initiative thanks to $1.85 million in federal Community Project Funding he secured.
The $1.85 million will allow YMCAs in the Greater Scranton area, the Wyoming Valley area, Carbondale, Pittston and Wayne County to provide mental health education and support services that includes a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). While some components of the new programming have already been introduced, the remainder of the new wellness initiatives will be rolling out in the next few weeks.
“I was proud to advocate for these funds in Congress, and I look forward to working with the Greater Scranton YMCA and others in the region to ensure the success of this new program,” Rep. Matt Cartwright said.
Trish Fisher, President and CEO of the Greater Scranton YMCA, says the funding will also help serve the underserved in our region who need it most.
“This vital funding will allow us to offer one-stop shopping for mental health and substance use services to those most in need,” Fisher said. “It will also support the hiring of program coordinators and specialized staff at each YMCA which will allow each participating YMCA to offer multiple proactive and preventative services. The YMCA is a charity and we are proud to turn no one away for an inability to pay. These services will support members of our community who may otherwise not have access.”
The YMCA’s Wellbeing Initiative will offer the community multiple opportunities to enhance and support their emotional and mental health and wellness through a combination of educational and awareness programming, specialized instruction, social and emotional learning, workshops and seminars, community collaborations, as well as connection to community resources and services.
By using evidence-based learning, the program will also engage children in social and emotional learning to improve their learning skills, empathy, emotional management, friendship skills and problem-solving abilities in an effort to develop and improve a child’s protective factors and emotional resiliency.
Congressman Cartwright, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Commerce Justice and Science Subcommittee, brought home $19.6 million in Community Projects in Fiscal Year 2022. In Fiscal Year 2023, he brought home $52.68 million to the district. He was ranked Number One in Pennsylvania two years in a row and is now Top Ten in the country for securing Community Project Funding dollars for the Eighth Congressional District.
“Bringing our fair share of federal tax dollars back to our region is the main reason I ran for Congress,” Rep. Cartwright said. “This funding directly responds to some of the most pressing needs in Northeastern Pennsylvania by creating jobs with better pay, making us safer, and strengthening our communities.”