In an effort to provide support to struggling adults over 55, McKinney-based LifePath Systems has begun its new project, Beyond Blue, to aid those adults with mental health issues.
Beyond Blue started as a program to help adults over the age of 55 with issues such as isolation, depression, physical health services, and hunger. Its goal was to increase awareness and proactiveness towards adults as there are so many present organizations dedicated to doing just that for the youth.
Along with LifePath systems, five other service providers collaborated to make the project possible. The providers include McKinney Roots, Wellness Center for older adults, Community Health Clinic, Community Lifeline Center and Hope Clinic.
Existing LifePath clients as well as new clients will receive counseling, treatment and other benefits if needed through the Beyond Blue program.
Texas Health Resources provided a grant of over $450,000 to fund the entire project. With the help of all the providers and the grant, LifePath was able to begin what it labels an unprecedented project.
The project will begin by providing help to adults facing such issues within the 75069 ZIP code in McKinney. According to Texas Health, mature adults in this area face chronic disease, isolation and higher rates of depression than the general population, and they lack access to the resources they need to combat these issues.
“Identifying specific needs and involving multiple local partners along with the financial resources of Texas Health is going to be a dynamic game changer,” said Tammy McSwain, Texas Health Community Impact Leadership Council vice chair for Collin County.
Texas Health Community Impact, a new Texas Health initiative, is a data-driven approach that pinpoints specific ZIP codes and calls on recipients to collaborate across sectors to attack problems.
LifePath Systems, the main provider behind the project, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those with mental and behavioral disabilities. With a multitude of branches – including those in Plano, Frisco and Allen – LifePath has addressed mental health among the youth and strived to help families by traveling from home to home. Now, with the help of a few other local organizations, LifePath will begin its Beyond Blue project.
“With the generous grant from Texas Health, we were able to move this project along and help all those in need of it. Just because people are over the age of 55 does not mean they don’t suffer from illnesses as well,” said Diane Kaslow, director of special projects.
Beyond Blue will also tackle physical disabilities for older citizens by providing more accessible food distribution at both traditional food pantries and mobile locations, and extending a senior transportation program in order to reach more people in need. Lastly, the project will aim to raise awareness of activities such as volunteering, mentoring, community gardening and exercise groups.