The California Department of Public Health will award $13 million to organizations focused on serving the mental health needs of underserved communities.
Grants will be given to 11 pilot projects that provide mental health services to African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ and Native American people.
Gender Health Center in Sacramento, is one of the organizations selected.
Ben Hudson is executive director of the center. It provides therapy and counseling with a focus on gender and sexual identities.
"Trans women of color, particularly black trans women, are being murdered at an epidemic rate in the United States," says Hudson. "They’re being affected affected by HIV at an epidemic rate and we don’t pay attention to that. And so what GHC is able to do by trying to serve the needs of some very marginalized communities means that we’re able to help a lot of other people."
Funding will be released over a five and a half year period as part of the state’s California Reducing Disparities Project. The state plans to award an additional $47 million between 2016 and 2022.