Youth in Action
Mental Health

Worldwide, an estimated one in five children and youth are affected by a mental health condition. Rampant misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental illness prevents people from seeking help and getting the resources they need. This page features data and insights from youth grantmakers working to support causes related to mental health. Explore organizations working on these issues, and learn how you can take action!

  • $660,580 Total Grant Dollars
  • 185 Grants
  • 71 Funders
  • 156 Recipients

Youth have made a total of $20.1 million in grants across different issue areas since 2001. Learn more

Top 5



    Funder Story

    How Are Youth Connecting Dots to Effect Change?

    By Khya Carter

    Over the past two years, I have been on a journey to become a philanthropist through the Youth Grant Committee at Grand Rapids Community Foundation. When I joined my freshman year after a competitive application process, I was amazed at how many new people I met. We have a very diverse community and I loved stepping out of my comfort zone and connecting with other students. Read More...

    Steps to Action

    1. Identify the issues and determine the change you wish to see.
      There are a wide range of issues within the broad category of mental health. Learn about what these are and identify if there’s a specific area you feel passionate about. There are preventative, diagnostic, and treatment services available to people in need of mental health support across a variety of issues. There are also broader campaigns dedicated to providing more mental health resources in specific regions and ending the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. Determine where you want to get involved and read up on programs that align with your intentions.
    2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
      It’s important to talk to experts on the issue(s) you’re interested in, and reach out to organizations that are already doing similar work to understand what gaps you can fill with your efforts. Don't be afraid to ask questions because sometimes your questions can shed light on topics or strategies that no one has thought of before! Remember to be considerate of who you’re speaking to and how you ask questions—talking about mental health can be hard.
    3. Make decisions.
      After gathering all of this information, it’s time to decide which initiative(s) to support. If you’re part of a team, make sure to talk to each other to figure out what intervention you want to make. Deciding between a few organizations or initiatives? Check out this resource on how to conduct a valuable site visit and this guide on making grant decisions.
    4. Take time to reflect and share!
      Pause and reflect on the impact you’ve made, and how you want to move forward. Talking about your work can be impactful on its own and help eliminate stigma and build community. Post updates or blog about your efforts or your chosen cause on social media and remember to always get permission before posting something about a specific person or a specific story—respecting privacy is an important part of this work.

    Organizations to Watch

    Check out these youth-led organizations working on issues related to mental health!

    Know a youth-led group or organization that should be on this list? E-mail us!

    Did You Know?

    42% of homeless high school students sleep 4 or fewer hours per night. This is the case for only 9% of housed students.

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