Rihanna and Twitter boss Jack Dorsey donate $15 million toward mental health services

Rihanna has partnered with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to donate $15 million (£12 million) towards mental health services in the U.S.

The Work singer’s pledge is a joint venture between her nonprofit, The Clara Lionel Foundation, and the social media mogul’s #StartSmall initiative, and will help fund mental health services amid the ongoing social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, representatives from The Clara Lionel Foundation said: “Racial injustices perpetrated by systems built to keep people safe are exacerbating the coronavirus’s mental health impact on individuals and families across the United States.

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“Even as the majority of states have begun lifting restrictions in recent days, millions of Americans continue to face daunting challenges when it comes to their health, mental and economic wellbeing.”

They went on to note the “dramatic rise in demand” for providers of mental health and suicide prevention support, “particularly those serving children, at-risk students and LGBTQ youth,” and highlighted cities including Chicago, Illinois and Newark, New Jersey as places where assistance is particularly required.

“In Newark, which has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the country, senior citizens, low-income families and homeless individuals are facing impossible decisions everyday: whether to buy groceries or pay utility bills, risk eviction or risk crowded shelters,” they explained. “In Chicago, racial disparities are contributing to alarmingly disproportionate rates of infection and death among Black and Brown people.”

The donation will be distributed between a number of organisations, including The Trevor Project, Newark Emergency Services for Families, Greater Chicago Food Depository, and Bright Star Community Outreach.

It’s the latest in a series of donations from the pop superstar and tech leader, with Rihanna’s foundation alone donating more than $36 million (£29 million) towards coronavirus relief to date.

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