Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care Projects


One of the incredible things I get to do is talk to researchers, people with lived experience, family members, psychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians, therapists, social workers, public policy makers, foundation experts, philanthropists, peer specialists and others from all over the world that want to collaborate on building the new mainstream for mental health care……Recovery.

Several of you have asked about what FEMHC is up to.

While the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care (FEMHC) builds its infrastructure and funding capacity we are fortunate to have projects underway right now thanks to the generosity of several donors.  As a community foundation we have funds opened under our 501c3 umbrella by individuals to support various projects they designate that align with the Foundation’s mission.  FEMHC also has projects under our general fund that the Board sets the priorities for when dollars come in to our Foundation to support our general mission – to improve mental health outcomes. 

I thought I would share some of them with you:

Bill Anthony Fund for Research and Symposia

We held two symposia in 2011 – the first one in February in Portland, Oregon entitled Medication Optimization in the Service of Recovery focused on bringing people together to work on four discussion papers posted on our website,; Public Policy and Administration, Medication Optimization, Guideline for the Treatment of Schizophrenia and Effective Strategies for Positive Long-Term Outcomes in Depression.

The second symposia was held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in September and was focused on early psychosis presentations ( on our website) and moving research to practice which quickly expanded to discussions about the research that was needed, family support components, and the need for continued networking.

Our next symposia in 2012 will be joint ventures with other professional organizations and like-minded professionals in September (Syracuse) and November (Philadelphia).  Stay tuned for details.

We had several wonderful proposals for early psychosis projects; all of which we are holding in our portfolio as we look for appropriate funding.  We are in the process of funding the research component on an early psychosis project in Framingham, Massachusetts called Collaborative Pathway.

We are in discussion with several researchers regarding papers to be written on appropriate medication tapering, guidelines for children’s treatment, and other issue papers people generally feel are missing from the research literature.

Another grant was awarded to MindFreedom to conduct an “I Got Better” campaign showcasing people’s stories of what steps they took to recover from mental illness and what tools they use now to keep in recovery.

The Dorothea Dix Society Fund for decriminalizing mental illness

Established by Dr. Dean Brooks, long time, progressive Oregon State Hospital Superintendent,  this fund is dedicated to decriminalizing mental illness and is in process of creating guidelines and writing new case law to get people appropriate treatment in appropriate settings. 

The Anatomy of an Epidemic Fund

Established by a philanthropist to distribute Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic, to prescribers and encourage meaningful, dynamic discussion of the research he showcases and develop principles of where we go from here.

The Mother Bears Community Action Network (MBCAN)

A fund established by Don and Lisbeth Cooper to support family members of loved ones with mental health challenges.  Read more about MBCAN on Lisbeth Riis Cooper’s blog at this site.

Since we are a Community Foundation we are in the process right now of establishing many more funds focused on a wide variety of issues to improve mental health outcomes.  I will highlight them from time to time on this blog.

In the meantime I encourage everyone reading blogs on this site to share the good news.  There is an army of people and organizations networking to create ways to end the stigma of mental illness and to help people recover.




Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Great website, Gina. I e-mailed the URL to some colleages in the psychology department here at College of Sequoias. One of our students noted the recent NY Times articles about research questioning the exclusive role of serotonin as a cause of depression. So I linked my colleagues both to your website and to the Amazon page for Bob Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic. We need more dialogue along the lines you and the Foundation have begun.

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