May 15, 2019
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Grinnell Area Mental Health Consortium is kicking off its annual JPK Fund Drive with a goal of $25,000 to help local individuals receive needed mental health services.
The JPK Fund was established in 2017 by physician J.R. Paulson to honor his late colleague, Dr. Jeffrey P. Knobloch. The JPK Fund supports Poweshiek County area residents who are financially unable to afford services for mental health related needs.
The Grinnell Area Mental Health Consortium, which includes mental health providers, clergy and concerned citizens, oversees the growth and distribution of the JPK Fund, which is managed by the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. The Consortium serves as a link between providers, groups such as schools and law enforcement that help to identify those in need, and those who are seeking financial support for mental health services.
Since 2017, more than $150,000 in gifts to the JPK Fund have helped to reimburse providers through a voucher system, offset medication costs, and support educational efforts related to mental health and substance abuse. Within the past year, the JPK Fund has partnered with 16 providers, helped more than 80 area individuals, and reimbursed providers for more than $34,000 in mental health services, thanks to the support of generous donors.
Mental Health Consortium advisory committee member Larry Jansen said he “quickly agreed to be part of the consortium to address mental health needs in our community.
“I believe addressing the mental health needs of our community is a critical issue. The JPK Fund was set up by Dr. Paulson to help address the needs in the greater Poweshiek community and provide financial assistance for individuals who do not have the means to pay for counseling, medications, or transportation to appointments. Our goal is to grow the JPK Fund to provide more and more services to those in need.”
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with an average of 130 suicides per day. It is estimated that 56 percent of American adults with a mental illness did not receive appropriate treatment, and that 7.7 percent of youth have no access to mental health services through private insurance.
Gifts to the JPK annual fund drive to benefit Poweshiek County residents may be sent in care of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation, 1510 Penrose Street, Grinnell, Iowa 50112, or donated online at ahrensfamilyfoundation.org/partner-program-funds.