Kerri Leedy, Kaiser Permanente
Shadille Estepan, Born This Way Foundation
Oakland, Calif., Jan. 17, 2023 – A partnership between Kaiser Permanente and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation aims to connect young people with accessible, inclusive, and equitable mental health resources to improve their mental health and wellness.
Kaiser Permanente is providing a $350,000 grant to Born This Way Foundation’s Kindness in Community Fund, which is dedicated to supporting community organizations focused on youth mental health and wellness, informed and/or led by youth, and rooted in practices of inclusion, access, and equity. With this additional support from Kaiser Permanente, Born This Way Foundation will be able to increase the number of organizations in California that will receive funding this year.
The Kaiser Permanente grant will also support the Be There Certificate — a free, self-paced, interactive online mental health course for young people (and anyone) that teaches them how to kindly and safely provide mental health support to their peers — created by Jack.org in partnership with Born This Way Foundation.
As of March 2022, more than 30,000 Californians have accessed the Be There Certificate course, and the Kaiser Permanente grant will help to increase outreach to more people in targeted communities.
California’s youth need more mental health support
The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the toll of the mental health crisis in the United States, particularly among young people. In California alone, more than 284,000 youth are coping with major depression and 66% of those with depression don’t receive treatment, according to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health. Suicide rates for youth ages 10 to 18 also increased 20% between 2019 and 2020.
“Kaiser Permanente is committed to removing the barriers that prevent young people from receiving the support and care they need to address their mental health and wellness,” said Yvette Radford, vice president, External and Community Affairs, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “Through partnerships with organizations like Born This Way Foundation, we are helping to increase access to mental health services in our communities, while also creating a culture of acceptance and support for young people living with mental health conditions.”
Kaiser Permanente grant supports 2 Born This Way Foundation programs
Last year, Born This Way Foundation’s Kindness in Community Fund provided grants ranging between $25,000 and $50,000 to 22 nonprofit organizations in the United States focused on youth mental health and wellness. Four of those organizations were based in California.
“We are proud to partner with Kaiser Permanente in their commitment to ending the stigma that surrounds mental health, building a culture of acceptance, and helping individuals understand how to build resilience,” said Maya Enista Smith, executive director of Born This Way Foundation. “This investment bolsters our efforts to build a kinder and braver world, so we can continue providing accessible, inclusive, and equitable mental health resources for young people.”
Through Kaiser Permanente’s support of the Be There Certificate — the free, online course designed to increase mental health literacy — participants will gain knowledge, skills, and confidence in having mental health conversations. They will also be better prepared to start long-lasting mental health conversations and support relationships in their communities.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve almost 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. http://about.kaiserpermanente.org
About Born This Way Foundation
Born This Way Foundation, co-founded and led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, supports the mental health of young people and works with them to build a kinder and braver world. Through high-impact programming, youth-led conversations, and strategic, cross-sectoral partnerships, the Foundation aims to make kindness cool, validate the emotions of young people, and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. Learn how the Foundation encourages people to practice kindness toward themselves and their communities through its website bornthisway.foundation and its storytelling platform Channel Kindness at channelkindness.org.