What Do We Really Know about Foundations' Funding of Mental Health?

The Sheer Breadth of the Mental Health Field Sometimes Obscures ItsVisibility to Funders

This paper examines mental health giving by foundations and points to a continuing downward trend in philanthropic support of mental health. The authors reviewed data and interviewed staff from foundations that accounted for the majority of mental health funding in 2006. Using this quantitative and qualitative information, the authors identify important unanswered questions about foundation funding for mental health and suggest that the lack of precision in how mental health funding is defined and measured is symptomatic of the mental health field in general and may contribute to grantmakers' low level of attention to it.