CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) – United Helpers Behavioral Health and Life Skills will receive a grant to expand its reach in the community, according to a press release from United Helpers.

The organization said the $611,974 grant will be used to hire six new mental health clinicians and six new care coordinators. The funding award is part of the Village of Canton’s $1,186,974 Community Development Block Grant.

Director of Behavioral Health Services David K. Nelson stated that more than 60% of United Helpers patients receiving mental health services get those services from its Canton location.

“Since 2019, we have built and grown mental health services in Canton, currently serving the community with four full-time clinicians and a part-time psychiatric nurse practitioner, who provides care for six hours each week,” Nelson said. “Presently, we receive as many as 50 referrals each month and have a wait list of more than 200 people. The average wait time for services is two weeks.”

United Helpers Health Home Care Coordination currently provides community-based services to 260 clients across the county. Nelson said each care coordinator has a caseload of roughly 30 individuals, while each clinician is seeing as many as 80 patients at any given time.

“This grant will allow us to provide these much needed mental health and care coordination services to as many as 432 new people,” Nelson said.

United Helpers Vice President of Development Christa J. Carroll worked with Nelson and officials from the village on the grant application, which was submitted as part of the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal’s Community Development Block Grant CARES Program. Carroll expressed gratitude for the grant and thanked Nelson and the village for their efforts.

While United Helpers had been providing behavioral health and mental health services prior to the pandemic, Nelson said the pandemic led to a dramatic increase in the need for the services saying the trend was fueled by loneliness and isolation.

More information regarding services from United Helpers is available by calling the Canton location at 315-386-0264 and Ogdensburg at 315-541-3042. Services are offered in person and remotely.