DUBLIN, Ohio (Aug. 26, 2021) — Today, Kappa Kappa Gamma is announcing a shift in its philanthropic program as a powerful new way to live fully in the service of others by becoming advocates for mental health and well-being. Kappa members will unite to educate, raise awareness, and reduce the stigma around mental health and well-being through fundraising and service.
This pivotal change was inspired by Kappa’s membership recognizing the need for more mental health and well-being support for everyone.
“One in five Americans and one in five Canadians face a mental health challenge each year,” said Fraternity President Gail Owen. “Those aren’t just numbers. Those are our members, our family, our friends, our neighbors. Our members really brought this opportunity to the forefront, inspiring us to join together to address this pressing societal need that is deeply impacting everyone.”
Kappa is partnering with established organizations that are working to effectively address these topics and needs with compassion, authenticity and respect. Moving forward, Kappa is pleased to work with:
- Active Minds: Active Minds is the leading nonprofit in the United States working to end the silence and change the culture around mental health by mobilizing the next generation.
- The Jed Foundation (JED): The Jed Foundation (JED) is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for the nation’s teens and young adults. They’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen programming, services, and systems related to mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention. JED also equips teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. They encourage community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health.
- Mental Health America (MHA): Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. MHA’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.
- The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA): The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.
- Jack.org: Jack.org is Canada’s only charity training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health in every province and territory.
*All our selected partners are non-profit, 501(c3) organizations. Jack.org is a Canadian registered T3010 organization.
“These organizations are already doing incredible work to ensure everyone’s mental health is a key part of their overall health,” said Philanthropy Director Lisa Breen. “With our new philanthropy program, we will work together to help everyone we serve understand and embrace the role of mental health and well-being in their own lives.”
With the support and partnership of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, collegiate chapters and alumnae associations will be able to financially contribute to these partners. The Kappa Foundation also supports Kappas on their mental health and well-being journey by funding educational programming in this space.
“As Kappas, we believe in inspiring positive change and helping each other and our communities thrive,” said Foundation President Susanne Vander Heyden. “It takes all of us working together to impact the lives of our members and our communities, so everyone can live their best possible life.”
This is the latest in a series of steps Kappa has been taking to increase its focus on mental health and well-being among its memberships and the communities in which they live. In May, Kappa announced a partnership with Talkspace, an online platform that makes it convenient to access mental health resources and paves the way for accessible mental health care. To avoid cost barriers for members, the Kappa Foundation provided a grant that makes the service free of charge to collegiate members and provides a discount to alumna members. This tool is in addition to the mental health screening tool available to all members and friends of Kappa via kappa.org. Under Kappa Edge, a lifelong learning program, and its Courage to Commit harm prevention series, members gain a foundational understanding of mental health and well being, its role in overall health, and how to support their own and others’ mental health and well-being journey.
“We have over 220,000 members dedicated to living fully in the service of others,” Gail said. “We hope to trailblaze a clear path for our members to effectively care for their own mental health and well-being while also contributing to the mental health and well-being of others — a virtuous cycle to support one another that fulfills our mission and upholds our values.”
About Kappa Kappa Gamma
For more than 150 years, Kappa Kappa Gamma has provided leadership opportunities, educational programs, and, most importantly, the unwavering support of loyal sisters to help members dream boldly and live fully. With over 140 active chapters in the U.S. and Canada, more than 235 alumnae associations around the world, and more than 307,000 initiated members since its founding, Kappa empowers women to pursue their potential. The Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation delivers educational and leadership training, preserves the Fraternity’s heritage, provides scholarships, and offers financial assistance to members in need. For more information about the Fraternity or its Foundation, visit kappa.org.
Kappa Kappa Gamma