Enhancing Mental Health
A Foundation’s Perspective
What I’m going to talk about
• What is Mental Health Promotion ?
• How can a Foundation enhance it?
Mental health promotion is a principle that
everyone has mental health needs whether or
not they have a diagnosis of mental illness.
It is essentially any action that enhances the
mental well-being of individuals, families,
organizations and communities. Mental health
promotion is essentially concerned with making
changes to society that will promote people's
I consider mental health as a continuum. Thus, an
individual's mental health may have many different
possible values. Mental wellness is generally viewed as
a positive attribute, such that a person can reach
enhanced levels of mental health, even if they do not
have any diagnosable mental illness. This definition of
mental health highlights emotional well being, the
capacity to live a full and creative life and the flexibility to
deal with life's inevitable challenges. (Wikopedia)
Mental health promotion works from the principle that
everyone has mental health needs, not just people who
have been diagnosed with a mental illness.
Enhancing Mental health is a term that covers a variety of strategies. These
strategies can be seen to occur at three levels:
– Individual - encouragement of individual resources by promotion of interventions
for self-esteem, coping, assertiveness in areas such as parenting, the workplace
or personal relationships. Therapeutic treatment interventions with individuals
and families are important whether they are inpatient, outpatient and anything in
– Communities - increasing social inclusion and cohesion, developing support
structures that promote mental health in workplaces, schools and
neighborhoods. Improve commununity and place based services as an
alternative to institutions.
– Government- reduce socioeconomic barriers to mental health at the
governmental level by promoting equal access for all and support for vulnerable
citizens. Ensure quality of care and parity. Encourage cross-system
collaboration, discussion, research and education. Provide for financial
arrangements that ensures, not limits the above.
• Payment for mental health services has
changed over the years to include not just
the top three: Medicaid, State and Private,
but the Corrections/Criminal Justice and
• A big challenge will be how to get all the
institutions who have a stake in mental
health to communicate with one and other.
• We need to have consistent stewards of
mental health who are not just “short-
timers” like governors or commissioners.
• We need to decide- who pays for what?
What do Foundations Want to Achieve ?
Improve the quality of life in our
Make a Community Investment
Act as conveners
Have a positive impact
Foundations support and enhance mental health
– Promote awareness about mental health in the
– Advocate for increasing and improving mental health
services (within legal limits)
– Support Direct Consumer Care
– Coordinate educational trainings and workshops for
consumers, family members, and professionals
– Take Financial Risk When Others Cannot
– Support new approaches and research
Staunton Farm Foundations History
Her Intent and Will
The Farm Concept
Creation of her Foundation
Rural Mental Health
Mental Health Disparities
Rural MH Conference
What Staunton Farm won’t fund:
Staunton Farm Foundation
650 Smithfield St. Suite 210
Pittsburgh, PA 15222