Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Grants More Than $8 Million
To support mental health and well-being across the U.S.
ATLANTA – Dec. 13, 2023 – In the second year of grantmaking from its new Mental Health and Well-Being portfolio, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has granted more than $8 million in 2023 to nonprofit organizations supporting mental health and well-being, with a particular focus on young people. In addition to direct service providers working in the foundation’s primary geographies of Georgia and Montana, many of the nonprofits in the grant portfolio include national organizations driving influence in mental health care across the country, as well as state-wide funder collaboratives that catalyze collective action through philanthropy.
These grants build upon $5 million committed from the foundation in 2022 and address a range of needs along a continuum of mental health, from crisis to stability to flourishing. Data from National Alliance on Mental Illness show the ongoing need for mental health services, especially among young people: one in six U.S. youth experiences a mental health disorder each year, and 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14.
“Over the past two years, we’ve been learning from experts in the mental health field, policymakers and, most importantly, young people, about the extent of need for services as well as hopeful innovations in supporting mental health and well-being,” said Beth Brown, managing director, Mental Health and Well-Being, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “One of the ways we believe we can make a difference is through supporting and fostering collaborations among foundations and inspiring an increased philanthropic commitment to mental health and well-being.”
As the Blank Family Foundation explored the needs in the mental health and well-being space, two themes came to the forefront, digital mental health and the epidemic of loneliness. Three grants address the impact that technology has on youth mental health, both as a detractor and a solution. A $325,000 grant to Common Sense Media will address the impact of smartphones and AI on youth mental health through research, outreach and partnerships. A $675,000 grant to Project Healthy Minds will empower Millennial and Gen Z leaders with tech backgrounds to develop a robust user-friendly digital gateway for mental health services that can serve anyone in the U.S. in need of mental health and well-being support. A $150,000 grant to Black Girls Smile will support BeWellBlkGirl, a digital online platform committed to connecting Black girls, their supporters and advocates with culturally sensitive and gender-responsive local and national wellness resources.
According to a recent advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General, approximately half of U.S. adults report experiencing loneliness, with some of the highest rates among young adults. The advisory highlights the opportunity to create stronger social connections in the workplace. The foundation granted $250,000 to Over Zero to develop tools and training for leaders to create organizations and communities of belonging, through The Belonging Barometer. Partners include the Office of the Surgeon General and the American Psychological Association, both well-positioned to help scale the belonging tools after they are piloted and refined. A $400,000 grant to One Mind will support the organization’s work to bring tools and training about building belonging in the workplace specifically to nonprofits.
Two grants support national organizations in their research, advocacy and education efforts, $2.25 million to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and $1.5 million to Mental Health America (MHA). Both grants also support local NAMI and MHA efforts in Georgia and Montana.
Three grants strengthen the field of mental health philanthropy by joining with other funders to combine resources and share learnings, including a $500,000 grant to Montana Funders Collaborative, a state-wide collaborative that aims to catalyze collective action through philanthropy for greater impact on mental well-being in Montana with a focus on youth and families as well as Native populations. The foundation made a $1 million grant to the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s Georgia Youth Mental Health Funder Collaborative, which focuses on finding and funding the most effective ways philanthropy can support mental health policy change and implementation in Georgia. A $300,000 grant was made to The Goodness Web, which connects a diverse community of result-oriented donors who pool their resources and expertise to accelerate the most promising mental health initiatives to improve the lives of youth and those who care for them.
“We are inspired by the leadership of both our nonprofit partners and fellow funders. Together, we recognize that our collective well-being is dependent on our meeting this moment, not only with funds, but also with compassion and innovation,” added Brown.
A full list of grants from the 2023 Mental Health and Well-Being portfolio is available on the foundation’s website.
About the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is a philanthropy founded to help transform lives and communities by uniting people across differences to find common cause. Started in 1995 by Arthur M. Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot, the foundation has granted more than $1 billion to charitable causes. Our collective giving areas are Atlanta’s Westside, Democracy, Environment, Mental Health and Well-Being, and Youth Development. Across these areas, we take on tough challenges by uniting the courage and compassion of our communities so we can all thrive together.
In addition to the priority areas of giving, the foundation oversees a large portfolio of grants including support of essential Atlanta nonprofit institutions, such as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Shepherd Center, and enduring founder-led initiatives, such as veterans and the military and stuttering, among others. The foundation will also continue to guide the seven associate-led giving committees operating across the Blank Family of Businesses.
For more information, please visit www.blankfoundation.org.
Click here to view the PDF version of this press release.