Community Foundation Awards $20,000 in CommunityWorks Funding to Support Richland Community College and Millikin University Student Mental Health Services

Macon County – The Community Foundation of Macon County (CFMC) announces $20,000 in funding to support Richland Community College and Millikin University student mental health services. This funding comes from the CommunityWorks Endowment Fund established at the CFMC.

“We truly appreciate the Community Foundation’s continued investment in Richland, but specifically mental health services, which will remove barriers and give students an equal opportunity to a quality education," said Julie Melton, Richland Community College Assistant Vice President, Institutional Advancement.

Annually, the CommunityWorks endowment provides over $200,000 in grant funding supporting education, workforce development and environmental programming in Macon County. This year’s CommunityWorks grant committee integrated mental health wellness within the funding categories, addressing a range of needs along a continuum of mental health, from crisis to stability to flourishing.

Statistics show that there has been an increase in mental health challenges, specifically in young people and particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year, and one in five young people reported that the pandemic had a significant negative impact on their mental health. While the COVID pandemic exacerbated the mental health crisis, it also contributed to more awareness of the issue and a growing acceptance and willingness to financially support the organizations and people working to solve it.

“Millikin University is extremely grateful to the Community Foundation of Macon County for its additional support of our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Counselor Program,” said Raphaella Prange, Millikin University Vice President for Student Affairs. “The additional funds will allow us to extend culturally relevant and competent mental health care to our student population through the fall 2023 semester. Already, this program has provided support to students who previously did not feel comfortable reaching out for mental health services. We are proud to be able to provide Millikin’s diverse student population with the mental health support they need in a culturally responsive way. Mental health matters in all communities and it is our responsibility to provide services that connect to students of all identities and backgrounds.”

In 2005, The Community Foundation of Macon County was one of 18 initial community foundations selected to participate in the Illinois Communityworks Endowment program. The CFMC raised local dollars, which were matched by the Grand Victoria Foundation, to create an endowment for Macon County.

To view the full list of CommunityWorks recipients please visit Questions about the CommunityWorks Endowment Fund should be directed to Rachel Moran, Director of Communications at or 217.429.3000.