Everyone deserves affordable, accessible, effective mental health care. Digital health tools for both adults and kids, if used safely and effectively, can help achieve this. Often, due to regulatory barriers and lack of reimbursement, innovative digital tools don’t reach those who need them the most, especially at-risk populations.
A growing number of philanthropists are exploring the impact of developing a universally available, community-based system of care for people experiencing mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) crises and emergencies. Such a system would be built on principles of racial justice, health equity, digital health and advanced technologies, local control, and financial sustainability. One key outcome of this system is that jails, emergency rooms, and prisons are no longer the default response for people with MH/ SUD conditions when they experience a crisis or emergency.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on our nation’s mental health, including a substantial impact on children and families. The pandemic has also caused increases in unemployment and financial pressures, and there have been questions about how philanthropic organizations might help alleviate the burdens this crisis has created. In an effort to better understand, inform, and support their members who give in this area, The Philanthropy Roundtable surveyed members who fund children’s mental health initiatives to determine if their plans for funding have changed, and if technical assistance is needed to meet their philanthropic goals and objectives.
For almost 12 million students, America’s 1,050 community colleges promise an education with three results any degree should provide: marketable skills, a connection to employment, and the ability to be fairly compensated for that employment. The returns on a small sum invested are immeasurable. Indeed, community colleges are emerging as an attractive philanthropic investment for donors interested in clearing pathways to work for vulnerable populations.
This guide profiles seven philanthropic foundations that are solving problems in mental health and substance abuse today. For each foundation, there is a description of its approach, some of its most influential initiatives, and how its efforts fit into the broader mental-health landscape. Most of these subjects have a local focus, and a long view on bringing improvements to their communities. One—the Well Being Trust—was created in 2016 to promote mental health across the nation.