Washington, D.C. – Active Minds, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for young adult mental health, is proud to announce a $500,000 Systems Enabler grant received from The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health. The grant will allow Active Minds to launch a new initiative to improve mental health for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and LGBTQ+ youth in high schools.
“We know students need to start having open and honest conversations around mental health as early as possible, including when mental health struggles are starting or even before they have begun” said Alison Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds. “This incredible funding from the Upswing Fund will allow us to deepen our support of young adults experiencing struggles for the first time at the high school level, with a concerted focus on these marginalized communities that are statistically most vulnerable.”
This grant will fund a new Your Voice is Your Power Ambassador Program, which will give students at up to 50 high schools the tools and support to impact and change policies at their schools and in their communities to improve equitable access to mental health resources through concerted support made available to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth.
Over the last decade, there has been a rise in mental health issues among youth and young adults. This rise has been even more pronounced among BIPOC and LGBTQ+ young adults. BIPOC youth are more likely to be impacted by the pandemic, police violence, and longstanding racial discrimination. Similarly, LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to experience discrimination, a lack of social support, and limited access to appropriate health care, all of which impact mental health. Experts predict that mental health challenges will continue to rise.
“An emotionally healthy world is not possible without a just world. While Active Minds is excited to expand more deeply in high schools across the nation, we’re also excited about the prospect of substantial lasting impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC students in a select number of schools thanks to the support of the Upswing Fund. Our students are smart, they are driven, and they are passionate about making the world a kinder, fairer place to be. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish with this funding over the next year,” said Malmon.
More information on the Your Voice is Your Power Ambassador Program can be found here.
The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health is a collaborative fund seeded by Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates to advance social progress in the United States. Further support is provided by The Klarman Family Foundation. The Fund is powered by Panorama and advised by a renowned set of mental health experts with deep clinical and research expertise and a passion to support youth and communities.
About Active Minds: Active Minds is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for young adults. Active Minds has a presence on over 800 college, university, and high school campuses nationwide, and is powered by a robust Chapter Network, the nationally acclaimed Send Silence Packing® display, and inspiring Active Minds Speakers. The organization is dedicated to ending the silence and changing the conversation about mental health for everyone. To learn more, visit www.activeminds.org.