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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Early access to mental health services is critical, but there is a national shortage of providers which, coupled with stigma, prevents even those closest to us from getting the help they need. More than half of all counties in the United States are designated mental health professional shortage areas. With nearly 5,000 U.S. counties deemed shortage areas, the national average wait time to see a psychiatrist is 20-42 days. When in crisis, timing is everything. According to a 2017 report by The National Council for Behavioral Health themselves, the need for treatment is expected to rise as the number of psychiatrists falls. In 2025, The National Council projects that unmet need will increase to 6,090 psychiatrists which translates to a deficit of 12% of the workforce. 3 in 5 psychiatrists currently practicing are 55 years of age or older. As the need increases and these providers age out of the system, who will take their place? The National Council for Behavioral Health suggests workforce development as one actionable means of addressing this issue and The Quell Foundation supports this endeavor by creating a pipeline of mental health care professionals and advocates.
The Quell Scholarship Program is addressing the workforce shortage and stigma issue at its roots by encouraging and supporting the next generation of mental health caregivers. The Foundation currently provides financial scholarships and shared resources to over 130 Undergraduate and Graduate students who are pursuing a degree in the mental health care field, students who have been diagnosed with a mental health illness and students who have lost a parent or sibling to suicide. Recipients immediately become members of a growing network of both current and alumni Quell Scholars spanning 40 different states and 112 Colleges and Universities. With direct support from The Quell Foundation staff and its partners, these students receive regular communications regarding volunteer, career and internship opportunities in an effort to enrich their scholarship experience. They are invited to attend Foundation events as well as encouraged to host awareness programming on their own campus or within their communities, such as by screening the Foundation’s educational documentary, Lift the Mask. The Quell Scholars program is working to normalize the conversation of mental health.
The Quell Scholarship program is attacking the shortage problem at its roots. We often hear from current professionals how they wished there had been scholarships and a support network available to them years ago. Similarly, we often hear from applicants how excited they were to discover that an organization who recognizes students in this space. Quell Scholars receive support far beyond the traditional financial benefits of an academic scholarship as The Quell Foundation, in collaboration with our many partners, we are working to provide free, additional resources to students such as teletherapy, genetic testing and access to yoga/fitness studios across the country. Quell Scholars are connected with The Foundation’s corporate sponsors and alumni network to pursue opportunities such as internships, summer temp jobs, career mentoring and job placement, which will not only address the provider shortage, but validates the many accomplishments of Quell Scholars living with a mental health condition.
The Quell Foundation, while offering many scholarships, personalizes each students’ experience so they feel supported before, during and beyond their award period. This is a critical step in grooming and cultivating strong leadership. We work to share information and opportunities that empower our scholarship recipients to be the voice for the mental health community. Quell Scholarship recipients become leaders on their campuses, within their communities and in their careers. We provide them opportunities to bring awareness programming to their peers and encourage them to take speaking roles at events we sponsor. Often its our scholarship recipients who are responsible for bringing our Lift the Mask documentary to their campus by promoting the event and serving as a panelist during the post-screening discussions. They encourage others to lift the mask that may be hiding their mental illness and put their passion for mental health to work.
The program can be replicated through strategic relationship building with both corporate and organizational hiring entities and institutions of higher education, particularly those that offer mental health care degree-awarding programs and are near the communities hiring entities served. The Foundation has developed policies, procedures and collateral materials for applicant recruitment, awarding, and engagement of students in The Quell Scholars Program, which can be adapted and implemented by other institutions or organizations. The Foundation has examples of communications to students and talking points about the Foundation’s awareness projects for Quell Scholars. The Foundation engages corporations and organizations, which are not only in positions to hire Quell Scholars, but are eager to do so as a benefit to the communities and space in which they serve. As long as we’ve cultivated strong relationships during their award experience then once employed, Quell Scholars become the next wave of support to the scholarship program.
In three years, The Quell Scholar Program has distributed $835,000 in scholarship funds to individual students and its partner schools. The program has grown significantly from 18 students in year one, to now over 130 across the country. Four Quell Scholars have already served as guest speakers at The Quell Foundation’s annual Masquerade Ball and 4 have been featured in the Foundation’s Lift the Mask documentary, which has been screened 11 times on college campuses where we have scholarship representation. Over 120 students have committed to pursuing degrees in the mental health care field. As of Spring, 2019, 34 students will graduate from their respective programs, of which 25 will have completed a degree program allowing them to provide direct support to individuals and family member of those suffering from a mental health illness.