We fund organizations and projects which disrupt our current behavioral health space and create impact at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
We support local grassroots organizations that are working to advance recommendations outlined in the Think Bigger Do Good Policy Series.
Our participatory grantmaking alters the traditional process of philanthropic giving by empowering service providers and community-based organizations to define the strategy around a specific issue area or population.
We provide funds at below-market interest rates that can be particularly useful to start, grow, or sustain a program, or when results cannot be achieved with grant dollars alone.
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Contact Alyson about grantmaking, program related investments, and the paper series.
Contact Samantha about program planning and evaluation consulting services.
Contact Caitlin about the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness, the Annual Innovation Award, and trauma-informed programming.
Contact Joe about partnership opportunities, thought leadership, and the Foundation’s property.
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The Prosumer Program exists to empower all people to transcend adverse life experiences and inspire resiliency, so they thrive while fulfilling their dreams. We desire to have all people living their life fully, with all the respect due to every human and all the passion to live the life they choose. Many people will find recovery accidentally. The Prosumer Program ensures all people feeling disempowered can find recovery intentionally. Participating energizes individuals, groups, and the community, all at no cost to the participants. The 2017 United Nations (UN) Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health validates the work we have been doing. Recovery happens in relationship. Recovery is not about hospitalization or medication compliance. Prosumers normalize the human condition as each person is accepted for who they are and how they experience life, which is healing. Prosumers balance the power differential inherent in the system, providing support and growth. People begin to realize their own personal power. Taking responsibility and finding their power, people take on directing their health and wellbeing, realizing they are the experts on themselves.
The Prosumers’ difference is our philosophy and our use of a Salutogenic model. Prosumers is peer based, focusing on a person’s dreams and aspirations. While many programs focus on how to live with mental health issues, Prosumers focuses on how to live life in spite of dealing with a mental health concern. Prosumers assists people to see life differently. The focus is on living dreams and taking back control of life. People aren’t defined by their current circumstances. If they work toward the future, moving toward wellbeing, today will work itself out. The Prosumer Program focuses on three areas of Salutogenesis: 1. People have control in life, 2. People can meet any challenge that arises 3. People have meaning and purpose in life We show that people do not have to resolve mental health issues to live life fully. As we live, the issues diminish, and we learn to thrive.
The Prosumer Program design centers around a monthly meeting, beginning with a meal. Meeting monthly creates a sense of family reunion and the anticipation of seeing friends. Sharing a meal builds community and develops natural supports. The second part of the meeting consists of activities and topic discussions about how to live life powerfully. By using Intentional Facilitation, the topics are explored, and everyone contributes to the growth and knowledge of everyone else. With support using our philosophy, others can emulate this powerful approach. Prosumers’ share our philosophy in many ways, including: distribution of our newsletter, an online empowering radio station, attendance at state meetings, presenting at conferences, authoring articles, guest lecturing at universities, and working alongside other organizations. Our newsletters have insightful articles written by people with lived experience. Here people find tools for refocusing their life. Prosumers work with anyone to help them understand “Recovery is Possible!”
Established in 2002, Prosumers demonstrates longevity and success. We partner with many agencies including Community Mental Health Centers who have requested and provided funding to have Programs in their area. We also work collaboratively with vocational rehabilitation centers, homeless programs, universities, legislators, state hospitals, jails, and others. Prosumers expansion has been the result of demand for our approach. We make the program accessible resulting in some areas depending completely on in-kind donations. In other areas, we execute contracts which include paid leadership positions. All areas are led because of the passion and the commitment of the people who want the program. Having a centralized administrative group allows contract and grant revenue to support all the Programs. Diversified funding such as grants, contracts, donations and fund raising, ensures sustainability.
Prosumers successfully replicated the Program in seven locations. Using distance learning and Internet-based meeting software we conduct training and leadership development with the Program directors. This enables the Prosumer Program to be developed anywhere while maintaining fidelity to the design. We are standardizing our training materials. “Spirit of the Meeting” documents are developed for each meeting and shared with program leaders. These documents will eventually form a topic library. A Facilitator Manual and a five-day Leadership Training ensures Program Leaders are equipped. The Prosumer Program must adhere to the following standards: • the program be run by people with lived experience with mental health issues • the meetings focus on hopes and dreams and how to live life, not on illness/disease • the program is not a place for researchers to find test subjects. Universities work with us to support the development of standardization, replicability, services, and quantifying the outcomes.
A study of Salutogenisis and mental health showed that, “between 85 and 95% experienced their participation as contributing greatly to improving their mental health in everyday life” (Langeland et al., 2006) This validates our focus and echoes the results we show. Prosumers inspire hope and the will to live, reducing the need for crisis services, outpatient services, and medication. Several community mental health centers see the value and cost savings of our program and requested Prosumer Programs. Prosumers participants shared the following outcomes: • Starting their own nonprofits • Completing college degrees including graduate programs • Starting Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) practicums • Writing and publishing books • Purchasing a home • Reduced use of crisis services • Starting their own businesses • At least one third of Prosumers have returned to work Many Prosumers have become Certified Peer Specialists (CPS). Prosumers serves as an incubator for the peer workforce.