LARC Receives $140,000 in American Rescue Plan Funding for Mental Health Initiative

Lee Association of Remarkable Citizens (LARC) has received $140,000 in funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to create a psychosocial rehabilitation program for people with intellectual and developmental differences (IDD). Lee County was provided $149 million in funding to support the local response and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds are designed to assist governments in responding to the pandemic, addressing its economic impact, and establishing a foundation for a strong and equitable recovery.

The prevalence of diagnosable mental health concerns for people with IDD is 30-40%, much higher than the neurotypical population. The negative mental health consequences caused by the pandemic are well-documented. For people with intellectual and developmental differences, this impact is exacerbated by additional rules and regulations that forced providers to limit their choice to interact and access community resources.

“The results of COVID including mask mandates, long periods of isolation, the inability to socialize with friends and family, support systems, health services, and employment have severely disrupted the routines for persons with IDD,” said Angela Katz, LARC’s Executive Director. “Individuals are exhibiting symptoms of mental illness and we are seeing a regression in the person’s ability to perform daily tasks at levels previously achieved.”

“The Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) program has been a mainstay treatment program for persons experiencing disabling mental disorders for many years,” said Katz. “The PSR service model is well-suited to our needs and complements the other services we are providing. This program is designed and implemented with equity in mind for a disproportionately-affected population that is historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected.”

For more information, visit or contact Angela Katz at 239-334-6285 x210 or [email protected].