Ellen F. Robertson
Passion - Experience - Leadership
Build a better city for a better tomorrow
6th District Buzz
Welcome to RVA 6th!
Welcome to District 6! Home to Richmond's best! Whether you live in Richmond or are just stopping by, take a minute to explore our rich and eclectic district.
Resources for COVID-19
Here are additional resources for those affected by the COVID-19:
Local resources can be found at richmondgov.com, including public health information, support for small businesses, and updates on services and closures.
Visit publichealth.va.gov of updates, information, and actions taken by Commonwealth of Virginia.
Food assistance is available for those who qualify, and Virginians can also find information on meal services for children by texting “food” or “comida” to 877-877.
Information and updates for students and parents from RPS can be found at rvaschools.net, including the availability of meals for children.
Unemployment information is on the Virginia Employment Commission website at vec.virginia.gov.
Advice for managing stress, anxiety, and mental health during the outbreak is available from the CDC at cdc.gov.
Small Business Administration loan information for businesses affected by the outbreak. Small businesses in Richmond are all eligible for disaster loans. More information at sba.gov.
Loan and debt relief resources for students is available through the Department of Education at ed.gov.
Visit the State Department at state.gov for travel guidance, including a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” Global Health Advisory.
Richmond, like many urban cities, has been very commonly associated with higher rates of most mental health issues and there are so many reasons as to why, and right now is the perfect time to address this and learn from the pandemic. We waited too long to pull together to rationalize the impact of COVID-19. We must not continue to make a similar mistake by failing to address a growing and ongoing mental health crisis. The call to action for local elected officials, like myself, and other community leaders has never been clearer.
It’s time to move beyond treating mental health with a collection of projects and initiatives and instead to implement system changes, policy solutions, and enduring investments that will save lives. More than treatment alone, we need policy change at the local level to create the conditions for well-being across Richmond.
As we continue to grapple with the pandemic, there is much uncertainty, overwhelming loss of life and widespread economic crisis, that has created an unfortunate perfect storm for gnawing Americans’ mental health and well-being. I've heard from too many people that have said the coronavirus crisis has negatively impacted their mental health. This is deeply troubling to me. We must address this with solutions to this growing crisis. We can and must respond to this call to action for the welfare of our communities, our neighbors, our families and our children.
Additionally, statistics suggest an increased need for treatment, treatment alone is not enough, nor is it a long-term solution. Counselors and clinicians are vital, but the weight of overcoming the storm of mental health challenges in our city, state and nation cannot and should not rest on their shoulders alone. People like myself can have an equal, if not greater impact, on our collective well-being. It’s time to get to the root causes of mental health problems, which existed long before the pandemic, and have always been unresolvable from the economic and racial inequities that have continued in Richmond and beyond. Where treatment is an individual solution, policy change is a joint solution that will do good everyone.
We need to put a clear roadmap in place to address these mental health challenges. There are actions we can take now, such as bolstering the local workforce to address mental health, reducing the stigma around mental health and increasing programs that protect people. When we do this, we will be creating long term solutions that speak directly to mental health.
I hear you loudly and clearly saying that we cannot expect real progress to come out of the simultaneous crises of the pandemic and racial injustice without intentional, coordinated action to enact the policies and systems changes that can memorably improve how well we live.
We have the solutions and we know what works - we must make it happen. We should not wait to act until it’s too late.
Ellen F. Robertson