Aligning Efforts to Achieve Equitable Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health and Well-Being for Children and Youth
A mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) health crisis among children and youth has emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting a significant concern and an opportunity for improving care and support for children and young people. This report from Nemours Children’s Health and Grantmakers in Health issues a call to action for philanthropic organizations and public-sector partners that are ready to move forward in improving mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) health. It describes existing philanthropic and federal MEB initiatives based on information gathered from policy scans, interviews, focus groups, and a convening of philanthropic organizations. Finally, it offers a potential portfolio of aligned strategies for private- and public-sector partners to consider.
To better understand how philanthropy has responded to these challenges over the course of the pandemic, Grantmakers In Health and Grantmakers In Aging launched a joint survey in November 2021 to learn how health and aging funders are addressing COVID-19 related needs among older adult populations and potential long-term impacts on future grantmaking.
What is the civic health of the communities you serve? Are community members equitably engaged in democratic processes and civic life? How might increased levels of civic engagement influence the distribution of public sector resources, population health outcomes, and health inequities? Is it possible to imagine transformative changes in community health absent a meaningful shift in community power and civic participation?
We continue to be inspired by the plenary remarks Dr. Paul Farmer gave at Grantmakers In Health’s 2006 Annual Meeting on Health Philanthropy.
Even before the pandemic, the mental health and well-being of adolescents and young adults was worrisome and worsening. COVID-19 has exacerbated these trends and heightened existing disparities. GIH surveyed its Funding Partners in October 2021 to better understand how health foundations are addressing youth behavioral health equity. The survey results are summarized in an infographic that provides a useful snapshot of primary funding areas, types of populations supported, and top funding strategies.
The second of two reports, Improving Data on Race and Ethnicity: A Roadmap to Measure and Advance Health Equity, provides more details about race and ethnicity data collection in federally administered health programs and an expanded list of recommendations for improving the data. The recommendations consider actions for states and the private sector as well as actions for the federal government.
Grantmakers In Health, in collaboration with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, interviewed a variety of stakeholders across the country, representing all levels of the health system. Federal Action Is Needed to Improve Race and Ethnicity Data in Health Programs, identifies tangible actions to help improve the completeness, accuracy, and usability of race and ethnicity data.
How strong is your organization’s relationship with local health departments in the communities you serve? Do you view governmental public health as an essential partner? How can you best increase and improve support for state and local public health departments? What types of investments are most likely to yield transformative change? As the future of public health hangs in the balance, philanthropic organizations must renew their commitment to governmental public health agencies and reimagine strategies for strengthening these partnerships.