Mental illness is an area that has been relatively underfunded by philanthropy when compared to the immense potential for impact. The Sozosei Foundation is helping reignite energy and push the philanthropic community in this area, with a specific focus on decriminalizing mental illness in America. The Foundation recently kicked off a series of Global Solution Labs to surface more knowledge and perspectives about how to create a future where mental illness is not treated as a crime. Over 50 multi-disciplinary “Solutionists” gathered on May 7, 2021, to take on the ambitious task of identifying the top solutions to move the needle on the decriminalization of mental illness. The group included doctors, judges, academics, philanthropic leaders, people with lived experiences, and other experts on mental health and criminal justice.
The top solutions (with the latter two being tied for third) were:
1. Scale evidence-based diversion practices and centers of excellence
2. Support planning and implementation of 988, the national mental health crisis hotline
3. Increase the size of the workforce
4. Support the passage of Medicaid Reentry Act
The Solutionists encouraged the Sozosei Foundation to collaborate and align with public and private sector players and ensure it casts a wide net of voices to include in its discovery process. The Foundation found the input invaluable, is honored to be in community with the talented Solutionists, and looks forward to hosting additional Global Solution Labs in the near future.