The Sozosei Foundation is a philanthropic arm of Otsuka. The Foundation’s primary focus is to eliminate the use of jail and prisons for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. In addition to our primary focus on the decriminalization of mental illness, the Sozosei Foundation also supports efforts to build resilient, healthy, and vibrant communities in Stockton, California; City of Baltimore, Maryland; and Camden, Newark, Patterson, and Trenton, New Jersey, and engages in disaster relief and recovery in places where Otsuka has a presence globally.

Decriminalizing Mental Illness

Mental illness is not a crime. Yet far too many individuals receive their first diagnosis of mental illness in jail or prison — a result of stigma, discrimination, racism, as well as the persistent and systemic failure of the United States healthcare system to provide affordable, accessible, community-based mental health care.

Despite this complex web of factors, the Foundation believes an opportunity exists to make measurable progress to decriminalize mental illness by increasing access to mental health care in communities. 

Through our Annual Sozosei Summit to Decriminalize Mental Illness and our grantmaking, the Foundation is eager to engage in dialogue and work collaboratively to move the needle to decriminalize mental illness in the United States. Mental illness is not a crime. 

Decriminalizing Mental Illness Grantmaking Guidelines


The Foundation recognizes the complex ecosystem within which efforts to decriminalize mental illness exists. Within that ecosystem we focus on upstream approaches to increase access to mental health care in communities across four strategic pillars: 

  1. Access to Care 
    Envisioning and building a United States where people with mental illness can access quality mental health care in communities—before, during, and after emergencies – through advocacy, litigation, enforcement of the Mental Health Parity Act, increasing the number of psychiatrists and effective implementation of 988.

  2. Arts & Communications
    Centering artists and art to increase access to mental health care, and building awareness and compassion by supporting work that gives a voice to lived experience through podcasts, journalism, documentaries, music, visual arts, and more.

  3. Research
    Building, sharing, and promoting data collection to drive best practices and spark new ideas and course correction. 

  4. Scaling What Works
    Supporting innovative community-based programs that have the potential to become national models.

Below is a list of the Foundation's current (as of August 2022) grantee partners in our Decriminalization of Mental Illness portfolio.

Access to Care

• 988 Implementation
1 Million Madly Motivated Moms
The Confess Project 
National Association of Counties Research Foundation
National Council for Mental Wellbeing 
Trevor Project
The University of Chicago Health Lab
Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation for 988 Implementation in Philadelphia

• Advocacy  
Council of State Governments Justice Center
Drug Policy Alliance
Healthy Brains Global Initiative
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Center for State Courts
One Voice, Inc.

• Enforcing the Mental Health Parity Act
Legal Action Center
National Committee for Quality Assurance
The Kennedy Forum
The Path Forward
RI International

• Increasing the Number of Psychiatrists in the United States
American Psychiatric Association Foundation
Black Men Heal
The Stephen C. Rose Legacy Fund (Steve Fund)

• Litigation 
Children's Rights, Inc.
Community Access, Inc. in partnership with NY Lawyers for the Public Interest
Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
University Legal Services
Veterans Advocacy Project, Inc.

Arts & Communications

Fountain House Gallery
Lemonada Media for Call for Help
Library Company of Philadelphia for Hearing Voices: Memoirs from the Margins of Mental Health
MindSite News
Minnesota Public Radio | American Public Media for Call to Mind
Mural Arts Philadelphia for Sozosei Summit to Decriminalize Mental Illness Arts Activation 
NAMI of Greater Indianapolis for Project Support
NAMI of Washington  for Brainpower Chronicles
One Nation/One Project
Recess Activities, Inc.
SoundMind Live, Inc.
The Better Angels Society
The Miles Hall Foundation
The Returning Artists Guild
Youthcast Media Group (formerly Urban Health Media Project)
Upper East Films for COMMITTED 


RAND Corporation
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene
The University of Denver for Trauma Informed Design
The University of Washington School of Medicine Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law
The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents 

Scaling What Works

Access Mental Health in partnership with Corporation for Supportive Housing 
Atlanta Fulton Policing Alternatives and Diversion Initiative
Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky
Healthy Minds Policy Initiative
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
Medical Justice Alliance Inc.
Miami Foundation for Mental Health, Inc.
OneFifteen Recovery
Peg’s Foundation for Clear Pathways Program
Richland County Sheriff's Foundation
Southern Behavioral Health and Law Initiative at The University of Alabama

Resilient Communities Program

While the Sozosei Foundation's primary focus is to eliminate the use of jails and prisons for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, we also recognize the importance of building resilient, healthy, and vibrant communities. The Sozosei Foundation's Resilient Communities Program (RCP) aims to make a tangible impact in diverse, under-resourced communities within a 50-mile radius Otsuka's offices in the United States.

Working through three community foundation partners — the Baltimore Community Foundation, Community Foundation of San Joaquin, and the Community Foundation of New Jersey — RCP grants support, organizations in: Baltimore City, Maryland; Stockton, California; and Camden, Newark, Paterson, and Trenton, NJ addressing:

  • Access to the arts and/or creative placemaking;
  • Climate change;
  • Food security;
  • Mental and physical health (including kidney health);
  • Racial justice; and
  • Social and legal services.

These cities were chosen because of their geographic proximity to Otsuka's offices in the United States and the potential of local nonprofits, community foundations, and community leaders to build resilient, vibrant communities. Grants are awarded directly from the Sozosei Foundation Community Fund housed at the three community foundation partners listed above.

Note:  Grant Inquiries regarding the RCP should be directed to the Baltimore Community Foundation, Community Foundation of San Joaquin, or the Community Foundation of New Jersey, as the Sozosei Foundation does not accept grant applications for this program. 

Below is a list of the Foundation's current (as of April 2022) grantee partners in our Resilient Communities Program:

Disaster Philanthropy

When climate-related disaster strikes, the Foundation responds to needs around the globe by allocating funds to aid in recovery and rebuilding. Priority is given to places where Otsuka has a presence globally, with a current focus on climate-related disasters, long-term mental health resiliency following a disaster, and COVID 19. 

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

Below is a list of the Foundation's current (as of April 2022) grantee partners in our Disaster Philanthropy Program: