It’s no secret that our country’s approach to mental health care is broken. In 2020, one in five adults in the U.S. experienced a mental health episode, and 4.9 million of them were unable to access needed care. Our systems are simply not set up to address the root causes of mental health challenges.
Many social entrepreneurs in the Stand Together Community are taking a stand against this status quo. They’ve designed innovative approaches to tackle mental health challenges in all their forms—addressing root causes, delivering care in new ways, and breaking social stigmas.
Here are five examples of entrepreneurial organizations and mental health nonprofits that are reimagining care. As part of our new Impact Partner Grant Program, we’re working together to grow their impact over the next three years.
Mental health for survivors of sexual abuse
Saprea, formerly known as The Younique Foundation, is committed to the hard work of healing survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Instead of focusing on fear or shame, Saprea empowers women in their community to strengthen their mental health and liberate themselves from the lasting impacts of trauma.
Saprea identifies three strategic commitments: retreats and resources for individuals who were abused, education for parents and caregivers to better protect their children, and public awareness to eradicate child sexual abuse altogether.
Give an Hour
Mental health for survivors of trauma
Give an Hour was founded on the observation that individuals who face major trauma also face major barriers to mental health care. Today, the mental health nonprofit offers no-cost care to people impacted by military service, mass violence, the opioid crisis, and interpersonal violence.
Despite a national shortage of mental health providers, Give an Hour is able to deliver their critical service through the power of community. They built a national network that includes thousands of professionals who agree to provide one hour of pro bono services each week. This network fills a critical gap in the mental health industry and enables Give an Hour to be very responsive to evolving needs at a community level.
Mental health for fathers and families
There are more than 4.5 million absent fathers in the U.S. today. What would families look like if we directly invested in the success of fathers, instead of expecting them to fail? That’s the innovative question that inspired Father’ Uplift, the country’s first mental health and substance abuse facility that focuses on fathers and their families.
By empowering fathers to overcome the barriers they face, Fathers’ UpLift keeps them engaged in their children’s lives, instead of removing them from the equation. From counseling, to coaching, to advocacy, every father in the program gets personalized support and wraparound services to become a better caretaker.
Prison Yoga Project
Mental health for incarcerated individuals
Prison Yoga Project brings yoga practices to thousands of incarcerated people around the country. Their team identified that most incarcerated people have a history of interpersonal trauma that feeds cycles of harm and self-harm. Their entrepreneurial breakthrough was to use yoga as a tool for transformational healing.
Prison Yoga Project isn’t exclusively a mental health nonprofit, but their innovative approach addresses unresolved traumas and improves mental health and personal rehabilitation. In the process, they are also setting a new vision for criminal justice in America, showcasing the potential of restorative strategies and identifying the shortcomings of punitive measures.
Leap to Success
Mental health for victims of domestic violence
Leap to Success believes in the potential of every woman, particularly those who have overcome domestic violence, homelessness, and other major life challenges. Recognizing that domestic violence victims face a long road to build self-confidence, Leap to Success was founded on best practices in mental health, therapy, coaching, and business training to help women turn adversity into strength. Every participant in the program is given the opportunity to develop new habits, confidence, and leadership skills.
Want more examples of social entrepreneurs transforming communities across the country? Explore the Catalyst Directory.