MCS Foundation focuses on Puerto Rico seniors’ mental health
SAN JUAN – The MCS Foundation has donated $30,000 to Centro Inés, a nonprofit dedicated to helping improve the quality of life of seniors whose mental and emotional health has been affected after family members left Puerto Rico in search of opportunities in the aftermath of last year’s distressing hurricane season.
The foundation–which donates the funds it raises to other nonprofits such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, Acción Social de Puerto Rico, the YMCA, Caras Las Américas and the Puerto Rico Psycho-pedagogical Institute–explained that it made the donation because “2017 was full of challenges” and that “mental health specialists recommend that the elderly maintain a positive attitude and participate in recreational and educational activities to complement the treatment they receive for depression and other mental illnesses heightened by the passing of Hurricanes Irma and María.”
Executive Director Liana O’Drobinak said the foundation sought the help of FHC, a Managed Behavioral Health Organization that focuses on the recovery of people who suffer from certain mental health conditions, to make the donation count.
“In the months after Hurricanes Irma and María, the scenario for the elderly in Puerto Rico has not been favorable. Many were left alone and helpless after their relatives moved out of the island. We love the purpose of this effort and consulted with one of our donors, FHC, who are experts in mental health care. Their clinicians joined us in this initiative to amplify the impact of our contribution. This way, we are helping the elderly stay busy and gradually deal with their circumstances, improving their emotional state,” O’Drobinak explained.
FHC is a subsidiary of Universal Health Services Inc., a stateside-based hospital, mental health center and outpatient clinic administrator. It is a sister company of First Hospital Panamericano, the leading provider of psychiatric services in Puerto Rico.
“After the passage of two hurricanes through our island, the mental health of many Puerto Ricans was affected given the loss of loved ones, employment and material possessions. Currently, many Puerto Ricans need tools and counseling to face each day and achieve a better quality of life,” attorney Awilda M. Broco-Rodríguez, CEO of FHC of Puerto Rico Inc. said. “Many of our elderly are in the process of adapting to new life circumstances as a result of these losses, and some are suffering from loneliness. FHC is an entity that provides alternatives aimed at easing the emotional challenges of individuals and families, thus promoting our great island’s recovery.”
Inés Center’s executive director, Janet Acevedo, spoke about how the Center’s “Oldies Clan” program contributes to its mission of improving health, by including learning activities in which seniors can discuss healthy lifestyle issues and participate in craft workshops and other recreational activities, She also expressed gratitude for the new alliance.
“Thanks to the donation from the MCS Foundation and FHC, elders who participate in our Oldies Clan program and who have been severely affected after the passage of Hurricanes Irma and María can enjoy several activities that will have a positive impact on their mental health. We truly appreciate the support of the MCS Foundation and FHC, and hope our alliance will continue to bear fruit for senior citizens throughout the island who need our help at this historic moment,” she said.
The MCS Foundation also recently launched the “Puerto Rico. A Million Reasons to BELIEVE!” campaign. The fundraiser’s goal is to reach $1 million in donations.