Katherine Duncan, the Director of Foundation relationships at the Jed Foundation, reached out to me. She read the blogs I wrote on mental health, something I am passionate about, and reached out. We have been talking ever since. Gotham Gives, the public foundation that Fred and I began, and our team Jennifer Klopp and Sarah Holloway made our first gift to the Jed Foundation. Part of Gotham Give’s mission is to bring partners to the table to work with impactful organizations together.
Below is the case study from the Jed Foundation. We are quite excited about working with Jed.
Youth mental health, substance misuse, and suicide are major, long-term public health issues in the U.S., negatively impacting communities, schools, and families. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased mental health stressors and reduced access to care for millions of teens and young adults.
The impact on New York City’s high school students is significant. Many New York City students have lost parents/caregivers to the pandemic, causing grief and creating instability. Others live in families that have been pushed into poverty as a result of pandemic-related job losses, resulting in financial insecurity and parental anxiety, and stress.
Gotham Gives is partnering with The Jed Foundation (JED) for the rapid implementation of a public health initiative to protect the emotional health and wellbeing of New York City’s youth.
JED is an established and respected leader in advancing evidence-based strategies to support and improve mental health in youth. JED combines deep subject matter expertise — in youth mental health and suicide, school systems change, program design, implementation, and evaluation — with local, school- and community-based knowledge. JED works with the schools to assemble a diverse team made up of administrators, educators, students, parents and caregivers, and mental health professionals to develop a strategic plan that guides all work.
The support from Gotham Gives will allow JED to significantly expand its work in New York City within public high schools attended by higher-risk youth through rapid scaling of its JED High School model. JED will be available to support the New York City Department of Education on system-level strategies and work with school districts and individual schools on a range of youth mental health and suicide prevention topics.
In addition, JED will expand its community workshops for youth, parents, families, and other community members in New York City and engage in communication campaigns in New York City to support and complement its in-school work.
Over the next 3.5 years, Gotham Gives’ support will substantially help JED reach its goal of implementing the JED High School program at 75-100 New York City high schools, directly reaching an estimated 60,000-80,000 students and indirectly reaching additional schools and students through advising engagements and district level campaigns.
Examples of past communications campaigns led by JED include “There’s Help All Around You,” which JED developed in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The second phase of this campaign, “Let’s Talk,” launched in May 2021.