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Ikea’s foundation donates $1.2 million to Minnesota student mental health programs


The world’s largest furnishings retailer gave $1.2 million to assist the psychological well being of Minnesota college students struggling to manage in tough environments in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ikea US Neighborhood Basis’s donation equals the quantity paid in unemployment insurance coverage to Ikea’s furloughed employees throughout retailer closures earlier this yr, in accordance with the Sweden-based firm.

Javier Quiñones, Ikea Retail U.S. president, mentioned the corporate appreciates the unemployment advantages that got here at a tough time. “We now have a greater understanding of the influence of COVID-19 on our enterprise, and we’ve determined to ‘pay it ahead’ in our native communities,” he mentioned in a information launch issued by Gov. Tim Walz’s workplace.

Walz known as the present a “beneficiant donation” and a mannequin for public-private sector cooperation.

The cash will go to the College-Linked Psychological Well being Program, which incorporates 58 suppliers masking 1,100 websites throughout the state. The Minnesota Division of Human Providers oversees this system. By this system, psychological well being suppliers meet immediately with kids, households and academics to supply assessments and remedy in addition to coaching.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated psychological well being wants for all Minnesotans, particularly our college students,” Walz mentioned. “This funding will assist guarantee we will join our younger folks with the psychological well being companies they want and deserve.”

Human Providers Commissioner Jodi Harpstead mentioned the donation will assist faculties present security measures so college students can safely obtain companies face-to-face or maintain them related by means of telemedicine.

Psychological well being issues afflict roughly one in 5 younger folks, in accordance with DHS.

College students of all ages have been pressured to roll with shifting eventualities since pandemic restrictions started in Minnesota in March. Relying on the extent of the virus of their district, college students could also be attempting to be taught remotely, in a classroom or some mixture of the 2. They’re additionally dealing with the lack of extracurricular retailers and connections with associates.

In saying the grant, Walz cited a 2019 report that discovered one in 4 center and highschool college students reported feeling anxious or depressed. Addressing college students’ psychological well being wants can enhance educational efficiency, lower disciplinary issues and improve commencement charges.

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