With support from Pivotal Ventures, the nonprofit will take its next step to ensure mental health is considered essential for youth and families
Washington, D.C. (December 12, 2023) — The Kennedy Forum announced today that it has received a significant grant from Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company.
Since 2013, The Kennedy Forum (TKF) has led a national effort to transform the way mental health and substance use disorder are treated in the health care system, including specific attention on youth mental health. In its tenth year, the organization has launched and will shepherd an inclusive movement to ensure every person in the United States has access to the mental health and substance use treatment services and supports they need.
The support will allow The Kennedy Forum to increase the capacity of their work in 2024, and move towards its ambitious goals, including, a robust schedule of stakeholder working groups focusing on school-based services, an annual conference, and activities that are critical to the organization’s Alignment for Progress Movement.
“The United States is in a singular moment in time with mental health and substance use. In the aftermath of a world-wide pandemic, with economic uncertainty, global upheaval, and a looming presidential election cycle, we must make meaningful progress to better the nation’s mental health and substance use care—especially for our nation’s young people,” noted Rebecca O. Bagley, President and CEO of The Kennedy Forum. “We believe that alignment is critical to harnessing the power of the community, and we are grateful for this support of our Alignment for Progress Movement and the specific work we will lead in schools and for youth and families.”
Launched in October 2023, the Alignment for Progress movement seeks to inspire others to action and entails the large-scale coordination of a strategic vision uniting stakeholders across aisle and industry —including mental health advocates, substance use and recovery clinicians and advocates, business leaders, educators, insurers, elected officials, and government agencies.
“What we need at this moment is to think big and to act big,” says former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, founder of The Kennedy Forum. “We’re about saving your family’s life. Because every single family is affected by these illnesses. This support underscores the need and the urgency of our work, and we’re grateful for it.”
The Kennedy Forum’s 10-year goal for the movement calls for 90% of individuals being screened for mental health conditions or substance use disorders, 90% receiving the evidence-based services and supports they need, and 90% of those treated managing their symptoms and achieving recovery – all by the year 2033.
“At Pivotal Ventures, we work to remove barriers that hold people back, and one of these barriers is the lack of accessible, high-quality mental health services to support young people,” said Sara Bathum, Senior Manager of the Adolescent Mental Health strategy. “We are proud to partner with The Kennedy Forum and support their leadership and ambitious goals. Our young people deserve a better system that meets their unique needs and helps them to thrive.”
About The Kennedy Forum
Since 2013, The Kennedy Forum (TKF) has been leading a national effort to transform the way mental health and substance use disorder are treated in our healthcare system. In our tenth year, we have set our strategic focus on shepherding an inclusive movement that will ensure every person in the United States has access to the mental health and substance use treatment services and supports they need. Founded by Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, who led a coalition of diverse stakeholders to pass the bipartisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, TKF has leveraged our unique role to coalesce a growing set of partners to advance the next generation of mental health and substance use disorder policy.
We are developing innovative, comprehensive, at-scale solutions and catalyzing action for implementing these solutions. At a systems level, we are exploring the next frontier of community mental health by creating an action plan that addresses the urgency of the mental health crisis in America. With TKF’s comprehensive approach to addressing mental health and substance use disorder in this country, our transformational impact will touch and improve lives from coast-to-coast. To learn more about The Kennedy Forum, please visit www.thekennedyforum.org.