Well Being Trust

OVERVIEW: This funder was created when two health organizations merged and is largely focused on mental health in California. Unsolicited grant applications are not accepted.

FUNDING AREAS: Mental Health

IP TAKE: This is a new foundation, but one with a lot of money to spend on one specific cause. But mental health groups in California shouldn’t be surprised to see funding leave the state after the organization’s first couple years.

PROFILE: Well Being Trust is a relatively new foundation that was created when Providence Health and Services and St. Joseph Health came together to form Providence St. Joseph Health in July 2016. With this merger came a commitment to improve the way health care is delivered and to help needy, high-risk patients. The Well Being Trust was initially called the Institute for Mental Health and Wellness, and it began with a seed endowment of $100 million.

Mental health in California is a top priority for this funder. This focus began with an initial $10 million in grants, part of a larger $30 million commitment to mental health across the state. This $30 million was set aside to be invested in California between 2017 and 2019. The grant announcement was made jointly by Well Being Trust and Providence St. Joseph Health, a faith-based nonprofit parent organization connected to at least 50 hospitals, 829 clinics, and hundreds of programs in the Western U.S. That $10 million in mental health grants went to four groups in Northern California and eight groups in Southern California.

But beyond mental health in California, the organization is interested in the social and spiritual health of the entire nation. It takes a social movement approach to grantmaking and invests in clinical and community initiatives. It aims to serve as an advocate for public policy at all levels.

These are the current goals of Well Being Trust:

  • Ease access to care and to the determinants of well-being
  • Build resilience in children, teens and families
  • Reduce suffering from depression, anxiety and social isolation
  • Decrease addiction and substance use, while promoting recovery
  • Create hope for people and families living with serious and persistent mental illness
  • Eliminate stigma everywhere, and grow a culture of well-being in healthy, equitable, resilient communities

Well Being Trust is led by a national advisory council chaired by Chief Executive Tyler Norris and Maureen Bisognano, the chair of the advisory council. Norris has said that nearly one in six people in California has mental health challenges, and that about half of adults and two-thirds of kids aren’t getting the mental health care they need. He is based in Oakland, California. There is also a chief policy officer, medical director and senior director of integrated communications on staff.

At the time this profile was written, the Well Being Trust was not accepting unsolicited applications for funding. Keep up with foundation news on its website. To get in touch, fill out the online form and sign up to receive email updates from the organization.

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