Monday, August 3, 2009

When is health mental?

Ashoka's Changemakers and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are teaming up and Rethinking Mental Health. Or more accurately, they are sponsoring an online competition and will give awards to organizations* (nonprofit or for-profit) that submit the best ideas AND plans to help them carry out their initiatives. Find out the guidelines and criteria and all that kind of important stuff here.

And you can start reading some of the ideas submitted here, but it is early yet. Also, to be quite honest, I have not yet entirely figured out how this forum works since there seems to be an awful lot of clicking involved.

However, I can't wait to see what comes of this. I am pretty optimistic since RWJF places a high priority on funding initiatives that will help bring about widescale change and Ashoka, well, how can you not like a social change organization founded by a guy who, on a summer break from college, drove from Munich to India to join one of Gandhi's followers in redistributing land to the untouchables?

*(So yes, unfortunately you cannot apply as an individual, but if you have an idea you would really like to put into action, why not reach out to a local (or national) organization in the mental health field that might be well-suited to partner with you or help bring it to fruition? This is not to say that any of this is easy and it certainly require that you do lots of homework and planning and all that, but you never know. On the other hand, if you work for or with an eligible organization.....get crackin'!)

Regardless of whether you're with an organization or not and whether you will be submitting anything to this particular competition, how do you propose that we, as a society, rethink mental health?

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