Pivotal Ventures Helps Launch New Fund to Strengthen Mental Health and Well-being of Young People of Color and LGBTQ+ Youth

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This photograph is of an African American mother in her 40s sitting on the lap of her 14 year old teenage daughter outdoors on their front porch in Miami, Florida.

Pivotal Ventures Helps Launch New Fund to Strengthen the Mental Health and Well-being of Young People of Color and LGBTQ+ Youth

Today, Pivotal Ventures, in partnership with Panorama Global, an action tank working to solve pressing global issues, announced a new collaborative fund to strengthen the mental health and well-being of young people in America in the midst of COVID-19.

The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health, seeded by Pivotal Ventures and powered by Panorama Global, will provide rapid resources to organizations that address the mental health needs of young people—particularly youth of color and LGBTQ+ youth in the United States. It will also support innovative efforts, such as policy changes and new technologies, to transform mental healthcare for young people.

“The pandemic is not just a public health crisis, but a mental health crisis, too—one that is particularly impacting young people," said Dr. Renee Wittemyer, Director of Program Strategy and Investment at Pivotal Ventures. "It's time to make mental healthcare a national priority, especially for young people of color and LGBTQ+ youth who are too often left behind by today's system.”

The pandemic and its impacts—including school closures, remote learning, isolation from friends and support systems, and economic strain—are exacerbating the mental health challenges facing young people across the country. Millions of young people are grappling with these issues while also dealing with the consequences of systemic racism and discrimination in the United States. Even before the pandemic, around one in five adolescents experienced a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety. LGBTQ+ youth are three times more likely to experience one of these disorders than their straight peers, and research has found that Black youth are less likely than white youth to receive treatment for a mental health disorder.

COVID-19 has made clear that the mental health system in the U.S. is not meeting the growing and changing needs of young people, leaving many without access to the care they need to thrive.

The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health will support organizations that provide direct services to young people, especially young people of color and LGBTQ+ youth. It will also support groups with innovative ideas to break down systemic barriers to care and create a more inclusive mental health system. The Fund is led by Solomé Tibebu, a behavioral health strategist and investor, and advised by a renowned group of mental health experts.

The Fund supports Pivotal Ventures’ mission to advance social progress in the U.S. and is part of our broader work to improve the mental health and well-being of young people. To apply for resources from the Fund or to learn more, organizations should visit www.theupswingfund.org.

If you are a young person looking for help managing stress and anxiety, finding care and support, or dealing with isolation and loneliness, please view this post which lists resources to get help.