PROGRAM AREAS

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 U.S. 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 in order to eliminate the inappropriate use of jails and prisons for diagnosis and treatment. 

Through our Annual Sozosei Summit to Decriminalize Mental Illness and 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. We value programs committed to curiosity that have a strong desire to use scientific rigor to help determine whether a program is effective and can be expanded to help more people over time. Our goal is to scale evidence-based practices that work. 

The Foundation gives priority to organizations working in the following areas:

  • 988 implementation, operations, communications and other activities related to responses to mental health emergencies that increase access to care in communities;
  • Scaling efforts to increase access to community-based mental health care so that people with mental illness do not enter the criminal legal system; 
  • Increasing the number of psychiatrists in the United States, with a focus on psychiatrists from BIPOC communities; 
  • Supporting education and organizing around enforcing the Mental Health Parity Act and ensuring parity in health plans not covered by the Act itself (please note that the Foundation does not support lobbying or political campaigns); and
  • Arts and communications to increase access to mental health care outside of the criminal legal system.

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


1 Million Madly Motivated Moms

Atlanta Fulton Policing Alternatives and Diversion Initiative

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers

Clear Pathways

Community Access, Inc.

Corporation for Supportive Housing and Access Mental Health

Council of State Governments Justice Center

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

Healthy Brains Global Initiative

Inseparable

Kennedy Forum

Legal Action Center

Lemonada Media

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Miami Foundation For Mental Health, Inc.

Mindful Philanthropy

MindSite News

Minnesota Public Radio | American Public Media

Mural Arts Philadephia

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, Inc.

National Center for State Courts

National Council for Mental Wellbeing

OneFifteen Recovery

RAND Corporation

Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene

Richland County Sheriff's Foundation

SoundMind Live, Inc.

The Confess Project

The Path Forward

The Steinberg Institute

The Stephen C. Rose Legacy Fund (Steve Fund)

The University of Alabama Southern Behavioral Law Initiative

The University of Washington School of Medicine Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents

Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation

Tradeoffs

Trevor Project

University of Chicago Health Lab

Youthcast Media Group (formerly Urban Health Media Project)

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:

 
COVID -19 Response

American India Foundation

American Kidney Fund

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Community Food Bank of New Jersey

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Food Bank of South Jersey

Greater Washington Community Foundation

Manna Food Center

Martha’s Table

Meals on Wheels – Mercer County, NJ

Medical Justice Alliance

Mental Health America

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Northern New Jersey Community Foundation

One Mind Heroes Health

Stop AAPI Hate

 

Climate-Related Disasters

 

Texas Weather Catastrophe

Austin Area Urban League

Communities Foundation of Texas

Houston Area Urban League

 

California, Oregon, and Washington Wildfires (2020 and 2021)

California Community Foundation

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Oregon Community Foundation

Red Cross Wildfire Relief Fund

 

Atlantic Hurricane Season (2021)

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Community Food Bank of New Jersey

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

 

Midwest Tornados (2021)

Feeding America – Kentucky's Heartland

Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, Inc.

St. Louis Area Foodbank

 

Flooding in China and Western Europe

Center for Disaster Philanthropy