SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The Mary Black Foundation is awarding money to Upstate organizations in efforts to support the foundation’s mission to increase opportunities for health and well-being in Spartanburg County.

In November of 2022, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $8 million to the Mary Black Foundation.

According to the organization, based on a needs assessment and input from community members and organizational partners, the Foundation will use the money to positively impact behavioral health outcomes.

In the United States, more than one in five individuals live with a mental illness and one in ten meet the criteria for drug use disorder at some point in their lives.

The scope of the problem is evident in Spartanburg County where rates of suicide, depression, drug overdose death, and emergency department visits for self-harm are higher than state averages.

“Most Spartanburg County residents have been touched by this issue,” said the Foundation’s Vice President of Strategy and Programs Rochelle Williams.

“And while we have many high-performing organizations and experts providing important behavioral health services in Spartanburg, throughout the county there are communities and demographic groups with high needs for care who are less likely to access available resources because of logistical and systemic barriers,” Williams said.

In response, the Foundation is granting a small first cycle of funding to eleven organizations that are effectively integrating behavioral health care into their missions in ways that make it accessible, affordable, and culturally relevant.”

The following organizations will receive funding in the first phase of grants:

  • Angel’s Charge Ministry
  • Birth Matters
  • Bloom Upstate
  • Children’s Advocacy Center
  • FAVOR Upstate
  • GoForth Recovery
  • Hope Center for Children
  • PASOs
  • Uplift Outreach Center

The Foundation’s President and CEO Molly Talbot-Metz reiterated that this is the first investment of a larger commitment to impact behavioral health outcomes.

“We are committed to continued collaboration with community members and organizational partners to positively impact behavioral health access as we work to create a Spartanburg County where all residents can achieve health and wellbeing.”