CARES Act - Mental Health

Mental Health and Self-Care

Massachusetts residents of all ages have experienced a tremendous amount of loss due to COVID-19. Stress factors from COVID-19 on families include unemployment, food insecurity, educational gaps, and loss of loved ones. Library staffs are frontline workers who will be working with residents. They also have concerns around the health and wellbeing of their communities, of their own families, safety concerns with returning to work or being laid off/furloughed.

Libraries may use Mental Health grants to partner with schools, local mental health organizations and other community based groups to assist individuals, children, teens, and families who are having difficulty. This also includes support for library staff.

Some examples of how grants may be used include:

  • mental health training for staff to assist patrons
  • opportunities and support for staff mental health and well-being
  • hiring mental health professionals to run programs and provide resources
  • offering wellness programs such as virtual yoga and meditation

Programs that focus on vulnerable populations are encouraged. For example, teens who need social experiences with their peers as part of their development and social/emotional health, seniors and other residents who may be isolated, individuals in unsafe/abusive homes and LGBTQ+ youth who are not able to freely express themselves at home.


$2500 - $7500


Any library that is a member of MLS can apply. Public libraries must also be certified in state aid.


Applications will open on October 28, 2020.


Application available after the grant opens.

Application Help

Contact Lyndsay Forbes for assistance or questions.