Health in Mind: A Philanthropic Guide for Mental Health and Addiction

There has never been a more urgent time to address mental health and addiction.
In the United States, one in five people experience a mental health disorder in their
lifetime, contributing to rising rates of so-called deaths of despair—those related
to drugs, alcohol, or suicide. Beyond the devastating loss of human life, these two
conditions impact society in other serious ways, including increased healthcare
costs, reduced workforce productivity, and over-taxed social services.
But there is hope. In recent years, researchers and clinicians have gained a greater
understanding of mental health disorders and substance use disorders (SUDs). We
now have deeper knowledge about the brain and evidence about which approaches
are most effective at preventing, treating, and supporting the recovery or long-term
management of these conditions.

How Philanthropy Can Help

Mental health disorders and SUDs are linked to causes that have long been the
focus of many individual and institutional funders. For example, we know that
adverse childhood experiences and parental depression affect early childhood
development and school success; that undiagnosed and untreated mental health
disorders are linked to homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration; that
young people in foster care and people in prison disproportionately experience
mental health disorders and SUDs; and that the current opioid epidemic is
ravaging families and communities across the country.

Contact Kristen Ward, Social Impact Fellow, at kwar@upenn.edu to request copies, share on your website, partner for events, or other inquiries.

Health in Mind logo

Coming in January 2020

This guide identifies approaches that are most effective at preventing, treating, and
supporting the recovery or long-term management of mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

• Five strategies funders can use to address mental health and addiction
• Evidence for the opportunities that have the greatest potential for impact
• A range of solutions and philanthropic opportunities for each strategy