Nonprofits Must Prepare for an Increased Need for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Behavioral Programs and Services

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that last year, 40% of respondents reported adverse mental health conditions related to the stress of the pandemic. As a result, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing predicted that the U.S. would likely experience an overwhelming growing need for mental health counseling and treatment services in the coming months, even describing the increased demand as a “public health epidemic.”

While we all begin to slowly return to a more normal life, the demand for mental health, addiction, and counseling and human services has significantly increased. Today, the services that nonprofit organizations provide are more vital than ever before in helping support, connect and aid in the recovery of our communities. However, providing these types of human services and programs to the public comes with great risks that specific lines of insurance can help mitigate.

Social service professional liability

One of the main exposures facing nonprofits working in a well-being capacity is being held liable for damages as a result of errors and omissions while providing professional services. This type of risk exposure for organizations is provided under a social service professional liability policy and typically includes coverage for a wide range of nonprofit professionals such as counselors, psychologists, therapists, instructors, social workers, mentors and tutors. While an organization expects its professionals to have completed the required training in their area of expertise, performing these services puts the organization and the individual at risk of being held legally responsible for any harm he or she is alleged to have caused.  

Sexual abuse and misconduct

Organizations that work with youth, the elderly or individuals with mental disabilities are also at risk for liabilities involving sexual abuse and/or misconduct. Typically purchased separately from general liability coverage, a sexual abuse liability insurance policy responds to allegations of sexual abuse. It’s important to educate your nonprofit clients that just because the language in their general liability policy doesn’t specifically exclude coverage for sexual abuse, they shouldn’t assume they’re covered should an incident occur. 


With the ever-increasing need for the mental health and well-being programs and services that nonprofits provide, it’s more important than ever for your clients to be prepared. Proactively reviewing policies for potential gaps in coverages and limits with your nonprofit clients will allow them to secure the right insurance, so they can focus less on the risk and more on the good work they do.

About Charity First

At Charity First, we offer specialty nonprofit, human service and social service insurance solutions across a wide range of target classes, including counseling centers, group homes, Boys & Girls clubs, performing arts groups, vocational/adult schools, and YMCAs/YWCAs. Our Counseling and Human Services insurance package includes coverage for social service professional liability and sexual abuse, along with property, general liability, umbrella and workers’ compensation. To learn more about our products, please contact us at 800-352-2761 or