Katherine Duncan, Foundation Relations Director at the Jed Foundation, reached out to me. She read the blogs I wrote about mental health, something I’m passionate about, and reached out to her. We’ve been talking ever since. Gotham Gives, the public foundation that Fred and I started, and our team Jennifer Klopp and Sarah Holloway made our first gift to the Jed Foundation. Part of Gotham Give’s mission is to bring partners around the table to work with effective organizations.

Below is the Jed Foundation case study. We are very happy to work with Jed.

Adolescent mental health, substance abuse, and suicide are major long-term public health issues in the United States that negatively impact communities, schools, and families. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased psychological stress and restricted access to medical care for millions of adolescents and young adults.

The impact on New York City high school students is significant. Many New York City students have lost parents / carers to the pandemic, which has led to distress and instability. Others live in families pushed into poverty by pandemic job losses, leading to financial insecurity and parental anxiety and stress.

Gotham Gives is partnering with the Jed Foundation (JED) to quickly implement a public health initiative to protect the emotional health and well-being of New York City youth.

JED is an established and respected leader in promoting evidence-based strategies to support and improve the mental health of young people. JED combines in-depth expertise – in adolescent mental health and suicide, school system changes, program design, implementation and evaluation – with local, school and community-based knowledge. JED works with schools to assemble a diverse team of administrators, educators, students, parents and caregivers, and mental health professionals to develop a strategic plan that guides all of the work.

Support from Gotham Gives will enable JED to significantly expand its work in New York City in public high schools attended by higher risk teens by rapidly scaling its JED high school model. JED will be available to assist the New York Department of Education with system-level strategies and to work with school districts and individual schools on a range of youth mental health and suicide prevention issues.

In addition, JED will expand its community workshops for teens, parents, families and other community members in New York City and participate in communication campaigns in New York City to support and complement its school work.

Over the next 3.5 years, support from Gotham Gives JED will be instrumental in achieving its goal of delivering the JED high school program to 75-100 New York high schools, reaching an estimated 60,000-80,000 students directly and indirectly more Reach schools and students through advice on engagements and campaigns at the district level.

Examples of past communication campaigns run by JED are “Help Everywhere”, developed by JED in partnership with the New York Department of Education. The second phase of this campaign, “Let’s Talk”, started in May 2021.

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