PROGRAM AREAS

The Sozosei Foundation funds nonprofits that have passionate people and resilient frameworks in place to make real and lasting change. Currently, our programmatic priority is the decriminalization of mental illness in the United States. Sozosei also supports local nonprofits in the communities surrounding Otsuka US offices in Hayward, California; Princeton, New Jersey; and Rockville, Maryland, and provides disaster relief in communities where Otsuka has a presence worldwide.

Mental Health


There is a mental health crisis in the United States. Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness. Mental illness affects people of all ages and backgrounds—it does not discriminate.

*All other groups are non-Hispanic or Latino | **NH/OPI=Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander ***AI/AN=American Indian/Alaskan Native

Despite great advances in understanding and treating mental illness, too many people with mental health issues face stigma and a lack of access to appropriate care for their disease. These challenges have a disproportionate impact on people of color. Additionally, failures to achieve parity between mental and physical healthcare, to fund evidence-based prevention and intervention for people with mental illness, and to guarantee access to a full continuum of community-based mental health services has moved our justice system into the inappropriate role of mental health provider for far too many of us.

According to a 2017 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately two-thirds of women in prison and roughly a third of men in prison report having been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Of those who enter jail each year with a serious mental illness, an estimated three-quarters have a co-occurring substance use problem. The numbers are just as grave for young people. Sixty-five to seventy percent of children in the juvenile justice system have substantially higher rates of behavioral health conditions than children in the general population. (Mental Health America, Position Statement 51: Children with Emotional Disorders in The Juvenile Justice System.)

Sozosei believes we can do better, which is why we have chosen the decriminalization of mental illness as the first pillar of our overall grantmaking strategy and the focus of the annual Sozosei Summit.

Through our grantmaking and annual Sozosei Summit, we hope to:

  • create mechanisms for local leaders to learn, share, connect, and scale fresh ideas and best practices;
  • decrease stigma against those with mental illness and ensure the re-medicalization of psychiatry;
  • eliminate the use of the justice system as a default mental health provider; and
  • ensure access to quality, community-based mental health treatment.

Grantmaking Guidelines: Mental Health


The overarching goal of our mental health program area is to eliminate the inappropriate use of the justice system for mental health diagnosis and treatment. We support programs and efforts that employ one or more of the following strategies to reach that goal:

  • Guarantee access to community-based mental healthcare, particularly for vulnerable populations
  • Divert people with mental illness from the criminal justice system
  • Create community-based supports for people with mental illness who return from prison or jail
  • Create therapeutic secure housing for those individuals who must be separated from society in order to protect public safety
  • Eliminate the stigma of mental illness and
  • Develop, share, and promote data-driven best practices and resources

The tactics to achieve these strategies should be creative and data driven. We support advocacy efforts, system reform efforts, direct and legal services, and education. We are particularly interested in programs that are designed with a systems-thinking approach; programs advancing solutions using 21st-century tools, such as digital medicine and technology; and programs that elevate and incorporate the voices and expertise of those with lived experience, especially people of color.

Disaster Philanthropy


When disaster strikes, Sozosei responds to urgent needs around the globe by allocating funds to organizations aiding in not only recovery activities, but in building long-term resilience in affected communities. We want to bring critical resources—and more importantly, hope—to impacted communities.Priority will be given to regions where Otsuka has a geographic presence, with a current focus on COVID-19 response.

Note: The Sozosei Foundation does not accept applications for its disaster philanthropy grantmaking.

LOCAL PHILANTHROPY


Sozosei is proud to extend support to nonprofit organizations in local communities within a 50 miles radius around Otsuka US offices in Princeton, New Jersey; Rockville, Maryland; and Hayward, California.

This includes support for initiatives that address:

  • Racial justice
  • Social and legal services
  • Food security
  • Arts
  • Health and well-being