ATLANTA – Jan. 18, 2023 – In response to the growing mental health crisis in America, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has made the first round of grants from its new Mental Health & Well-Being giving area, totaling more than $5 million. The portfolio of 15 grants will help the foundation discover where philanthropy can be most impactful and assist in shaping its future Mental Health & Well-Being strategy.
Statistics show that there has been an increase in mental health challenges, specifically in young people and particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year, and one in five young people reported that the pandemic had a significant negative impact on their mental health.
While the COVID pandemic exacerbated the mental health crisis, it also contributed to more awareness of the issue and a growing acceptance and willingness to financially support the organizations and people working to solve it.
“Our chairman, Arthur M. Blank, has a keen interest in improving the state of mental health and well-being, especially for young people across our nation. The recent escalation and urgency of the crisis has prompted our foundation to make a multi-year, long-term commitment to invest in solutions,” said Fay Twersky, president, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “We care about the well-being of individuals, families and our collective society, and we feel that everyone deserves a life where they can flourish and thrive.”
The grants address a range of needs along a continuum of mental health, from crisis to stability to flourishing.
“There’s no one specific approach to well-being that works for everyone,” said Beth Brown, managing director, Mental Health & Well-Being, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “We recognize there are different interventions in moving people from crisis to stability and then from stability to flourishing. These grants will allow us to explore a multitude of approaches with our nonprofit partners, whose work is characterized by a special blend of compassion, innovation and impact.”
The following grants are included in the portfolio:
Responding to the Mental Health Crisis
These grants invest in projects and partnerships focused on supporting individuals and systems responding to mental health crises. This includes organizations providing direct services as well as collaboratives.
- $500,000 to The Carter Center to support its Georgia mental health program
- $330,000 to the Montana Community Foundation for the Montana Tele-Crisis Response Initiative, an emergency telepsychiatry network
- $250,000 to Kate’s Club to provide mentoring and peer support to children across Georgia who have suddenly lost parents, caregivers or siblings
- $225,000 to CHRIS 180 to continue providing children, adults and families in Atlanta’s Westside with high-quality, trauma-informed behavioral health services and support systems
- $200,000 to Catalyst for Change to scale its proven model of building seamless mental health systems for the communities most in need in Montana
- $100,000 to the Rural Behavioral Health Institute to elevate the expansion of its work to reduce suicide among youth in Montana
Investing in Innovations in Well-Being
These grants invest in new, promising practices designed to move individuals from stability to flourishing, living purpose-filled lives in which they are thriving and engaged in community.
- $2 million to the Aspen Institute to support the Opportunity Youth Fund and Forum’s development of strategies and programs focused on well-being and belonging
- $300,000 to Hopelab to launch a pooled philanthropic investment fund, which will provide grants to youth-led organizations focused on the intersection of mental health and technology
- $150,000 to the University of Montana for the Montana Happiness Project, which will develop a program to incorporate positive psychology in schools, families, colleges and media across the state of Montana
- $100,000 to Inner Explorer to support the launch of its evidence-based mindful awareness program in Atlanta-area public schools
Supporting New Research, Convenings and Communications
These grants focus on partnerships with organizations poised to leverage philanthropic, corporate and government funding through the development of new research and communications tools, education and convening.
- $275,000 to Mindful Philanthropy to support the organization’s capacity to expand its research and convening, including conducting a national landscape analysis of philanthropic investment in mental health
- $225,000 to Inseparable to increase its capacity to advance national strategies to reduce stigma and increase funding for youth mental health
- $200,000 to Resilient Georgia to support collaboration in creating an integrated behavioral health network of services for Georgia’s children
- $150,000 to the Center for Effective Philanthropy to support YouthTruth’s national surveys and research on youth mental health
- $100,000 to the Montana Community Foundation for the Northern Ag Network’s mental health campaign, which works to break the stigma surrounding mental health by normalizing conversations and promoting mental health support across the Intermountain West
The grant portfolio includes national nonprofits, as well as organizations serving the Intermountain West and Southeast regions, the primary geographies where the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation invests. Grants will serve all populations and ages and will prioritize youth and underserved or vulnerable populations.
In addition to Mental Health & Well-Being, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is focused on four other collective areas of giving, including Youth Development, Democracy, the Environment and Atlanta’s Westside.