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Centier helps Mental Health America of NWI offer virtual services during pandemic

Centier helps Mental Health America of NWI offer virtual services during pandemic

Centier helps Mental Health America of NWI offer virtual services during pandemic

Anthony Contrucci, VP of community relations at Centier Bank; Richele Kaiser, development manager at Mental Health America of Northwest Indiana; Lauren Zurbriggen, financial education coordinator at Centier; and Andrea Sherwin, president and CEO of MHANWI, pose for a photo as Centier donates to the nonprofit.

Centier, the largest privately owned bank in Indiana, gave a donation to help Mental Health America of Northwest Indiana continue to provide services virtually during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Merrillville-based bank donated $4,100 to support the nonprofit group, which started offering more virtual services and programs as a result of the shelter-in-place restrictions and social distancing guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like many companies, we had to quickly transition our staff to a virtual work platform when the pandemic began, and we had to switch to virtual visits, and faced a number of technological hurdles,” Development Manager Richele Kaiser said. “We experienced an average 15 percent increase in requests for services and program activity over the past three months as families seek heightened levels of support. We needed additional resources to keep providing services to those in need.”

The 125-year-old bank, which has 900 employees at 64 branches across Indiana, long has supported MHANWI. Vice President of Business Development Anthony Contrucci said it was an especially important time to do so during the pandemic.

“The pandemic has brought on additional mental health struggles for many people,” Contrucci said. “Our donation will ensure MHANWI can continue to operate at a high level and care for families and individuals to help improve their health and welfare. We’re grateful for the partnership, and commend the amazing people at MHANWI for the work they do in the community.”

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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