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Pinellas Nonprofits Awarded $2.6M For Coronavirus Mental Health

CLEARWATER, FL — With mental health complaints mounting due to the coronavirus pandemic, on Thursday the Pinellas Community Foundation awarded $2.6 million to nine Pinellas County nonprofits committed to providing programs to combat depression and anxiety.

According to the foundation, crisis and suicide-related have risen 47 percent in Pinellas County with more than 1,400 residents seeking help from a local coronavirus emotional support hotline. A disproportionate number of suicides and mental illnesses are impacting low-income and minority communities.

The grants from the Pinellas Community Foundation through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act will aid an estimated 5,500 people including first responders, youth and other Pinellas residents experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression.

Among the nonprofits receiving grants, Directions for Living was awarded $1.3 million for:

  • Mental health first aid training to empower the community to know what to do when a person is having a mental health crisis.

  • Mental health counseling for 911 dispatchers experiencing increased anxiety due to coronavirus.

  • Expansion of mental health unit partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, telehealth counseling and Wi-Fi and digital equipment for people who lack access to counselors.

The Well For Life and Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast received $249,627 for:

  • Mental health counseling at the neighborhood level where 79 percent of the 14,000 youngsters and teens served by the clubs are minorities and 89 percent live at the federal poverty level.

  • Mental health counseling sessions for staff to address their needs of youngsters in crisis.

PCF was tapped in August by Pinellas County to administer $30 million in CARES Act funds to nonprofits that provide food and homeless services, behavioral health programs and legal aid for housing. Since August, PCF has awarded $11.5 million to nonprofits, including the $2.6 million presented Thursday. For details, visit

Since its founding in 1969, the foundation has provided $60 million to 262 charitable organizations in the county. For information, call 727-531-0058.

This article originally appeared on the Clearwater Patch

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Benchmark Fitness’ Outdoor Trivia Workout Oct. 3 to support nonprofits

After the success of their grand opening, Benchmark Fitness, Crystal Lake’s newest fitness center, is welcoming the community to an outdoor trivia workout event to support nonprofits at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.

Benchmark Fitness’ Outdoor Trivia Workout invites attendees to form a team of two to four people for a socially-distanced group fitness class. Along with a fun, challenging session that combines elements of HIIT and strength training, teams will battle it out through fitness-related trivia questions for a chance to win!



The top two teams will receive free T-shirts and one of the following: one month of group training for each participant; two personal training sessions per person; or three small-group fitness classes (in-person or virtual).

Each participant has the opportunity to submit the name of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization they’d like to support. At the end of the workout, one of the submitted charities will be drawn at random to receive 100% of the profits from the event.

“We wanted to do this event as a way to engage people in fun, health-centered activities that also support local nonprofit organizations,” says Benchmark Fitness co-owner Danny Miller. “We feel that as a local business, it’s always important to give back to the community.”

Join the fun on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at Benchmark Fitness, 975 Nimco Drive, Unit G in Crystal Lake.

This event is open to all ages and fitness levels, and membership at Benchmark Fitness is not required. The cost to participate is $25 and guests can pay at the event with cash or a check.



To sign up, email your team name and the names of your team members to [email protected]

Benchmark Fitness will be supplying an outdoor rubber mat and a set of dumbbells for every participant to use, though you are encouraged to bring extra dumbbells if you’d like a challenge!

Benchmark Fitness is located at 975 Nimco Drive, Unit G, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, near the corner of Route 31 and Rakow Road. The team is focused on providing a safe, comfortable space for newbies and experienced gym-goers alike. Offering group fitness classes and personal training seven days a week, there’s an opportunity for every schedule. To learn more, sign up for this event, or start your membership, visit, email [email protected], or call (779) 994-7148.


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