Mental health: What are foundations funding?

From the Health Affairs blog:

My GrantWatch column in the September issue of Health Affairs, “Mental Health: What Foundations Are Funding,” provides a snapshot of foundation efforts around the country to help people who suffer from mental illness.

A variety of funders are interested in this topic. In my small sampling, it appears that support for integrated health care, in which physical and behavioral health are systematically coordinated, has been gaining in popularity. (The term “behavioral health” often includes treatments for both mental illness and substance use.)

Some foundations are supporting projects on mental health and the criminal justice system. Read about efforts funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (a national corporate funder), the Endowment for Health (a statewide funder, based in Concord, New Hampshire) the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. (Note to readers: MacArthur no longer has a mental health program, per se.)

In a lengthy section on integration of care, I mention the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s policy brief from last year entitled “Mental Disorders and Medical Comorbidity”; a Commonwealth Fund paper on the Affordable Care Act of 2010’s “health home option” for Medicaid enrollees, which promotes “whole-person care”; efforts by the relatively new Empire Health Foundation, which funds in eastern Washington State; the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, a statewide funder located in Austin, Texas, which has been working on integrated health care since 2006; the Maine Health Access Foundation, which has had some success with its $10 million Integration Initiative, which also started in 2006; and the Sunflower Foundation, a statewide funder located in Topeka, Kansas. Work on integration of care is going on all over the United States, as you can see.

Read the complete post and the related article here.

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