Advancing Mental Health Services

The Health Care program area seeks to identify service delivery models that promote mental health and well-being for adults, adolescents and children, with a priority on holistic approaches to early intervention and treatment.

Challenge

More than two million adolescents and adults in the Carolinas experience mental illness in a given year, yet nearly 60 percent do not receive treatment. The lack of access to mental health and substance abuse treatment services throughout the Carolinas significantly impacts the health of individuals, families and communities. 

Many factors contribute to inadequate care for mental health conditions, including a shortage of qualified mental health professionals, a lack of screening for risk factors and the stigma associated with mental health and substance use. Mental health services have also been separated from the rest of the health care system, leading to fragmented care and poor outcomes. A fragmented service delivery system results in a lack of early identification and intervention, often leading to symptoms being ignored until they become acute and/​or manifest in addiction, chronic depression, anxiety, social isolation or suicide. 

Due to COVID-19, projected workforce shortages and other factors, the treatment gap is expected to increase, leaving more adolescents and adults without needed services. 

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Our Objective

The Health Care program area seeks to identify service delivery models that promote mental health and well-being for adults, adolescents and children, with a priority on holistic approaches to early intervention and treatment. We prioritize innovative models of care that seek to understand root causes and strive to provide mental health and well-being services that intentionally emphasize prevention and resiliency. 

The Endowment also supports investments in systems change work, including policy and regulation reforms supporting models that increase access, screening, early identification and interventions services with a particular focus on vulnerable populations. 

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What We Fund 

Our mental health portfolio includes several long-term investments in areas such as promoting mental health integration, telepsychiatry, school-based mental health programs and projects that reduce inappropriate opioid prescribing within health systems. We focus on models of care with an upstream” focus to promote early identification and treatment. Additionally, we prioritize programs and models that reduce stigma, improve access, resiliency and holistic person-centered care.

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