The Jed Foundation Receives $15 Million Gift from MacKenzie Scott

The unrestricted gift recognizes JED’s ongoing efforts to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults.

NEW YORK, New York, Feb. 7, 2022 /Business Wire/ — The Jed Foundation (JED), the leading national nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults, today announced that it is a recipient of a $15 million grant from MacKenzie Scott to expand its efforts to make a lasting impact on the mental health of teens and young adults. 

The gift will be used to support JED’s effort to rapidly scale its work with schools, tripling to 12 million the number of higher education students protected by JED’s Comprehensive Approach and quickly expanding JED’s new Comprehensive Approach for High Schools to protect at least 1.2 million students.  

Three out of 10 young adults experienced a mental illness in 2020—a more than 42% increase since 2011—but more than half received no care. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among emerging adults. In the past 12 months, 18.8% of high school students reported having serious thoughts of suicide and 25.5% of adults ages 18-24 reported having recently seriously considered suicide. Yet mental health receives just 0.5% of all philanthropic health spending—the lowest proportion of any area of healthcare funding. 

“For more than two decades, The Jed Foundation has been committed to ensuring that all young people are equipped with the supports they need to meet mental health challenges in healthy ways so that they may fully realize their potential in adulthood,” says Phil Satow, JED co-founder and board chair. “This gift will be instrumental in supporting JED’s work to strengthen communities of care in high schools, colleges, and universities with systems, programs, and policies that support the mental health of students and reduce risks for suicide.”   

“Major gaps currently exist in supporting and advocating for the mental health of our youth. An infusion of capital is needed to build comprehensive and culturally-responsive systems of mental health support in our schools and communities,” says JED CEO John MacPhee. “We greatly appreciate this milestone gift from MacKenzie Scott and her attention to youth mental health, as well as continued support from our many generous donors. The collective commitment from the philanthropic community is critical in our team’s tireless efforts to put these substantial gifts into action to protect teens and young adults.”

“The Jed Foundation is thrilled by the recognition from MacKenzie Scott for our efforts in strengthening mental health and suicide prevention approaches in secondary and higher education, as well as for her generous donation to the mental health community,” says JED President & Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Benghiat. “We hope to work with the other grant recipients to elevate the mental health sector and collectively help all teens and young adults thrive.”

About The Jed Foundation (JED)

JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.

Connect with JED:  Email | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn

For Press Inquiries, please contact: Laura Vinci, laura.vinci@finnpartners.com

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