Grant Makers Add Students’ Mental Health to Priorities
Sixty-two percent of education grant makers said they were shifting the way they spend money as they help parents and their families cope with stress and other challenges.
Amid growing concerns about a mental health crisis sweeping the nation’s schoolchildren so serious that the U.S. surgeon general has called the challenges “unprecedented,” education grant makers may be increasingly changing the way they spend. dollars to aid young people.
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Amid growing concerns about a mental-health crisis sweeping the nation’s schoolchildren that the U.S. surgeon general has called “unprecedented,” education grant makers may be increasingly changing the way they aid young people.
A survey of 142 foundations by Grantmakers for Education in late 2022 and early 2023 shows:
● 62 percent of grant makers are providing support to nonprofits, schools and other groups that help children learn important coping and social skills. These types of grants commanded support from one-third of grant makers in 2018.
● 62 percent are providing support for mental-health care that is tailored to help people who have faced significant struggles in their lives.
The Covid pandemic spurred schools to collaborate with community groups to provide food and services not only to children but to their families as well, according to the report. Many others are offering “wrap-around” support by helping and engaging with students outside of school buildings. One grant maker said in the survey that “the hours after school, on weekends, and during the summer are critical times for growth, learning, and change.”
While different foundations responded in each year of the survey, Grantmakers for Education said the size of the foundations was comparable enough to provide solid comparisons. Still, the survey size was too small to say the trend is true across all grant makers.
Among the other issues commanding a significant share of foundation attention:
● Helping educational institutions grow or expand (77 percent)
● Supporting professional development and training for teachers, school leaders, and other education professionals (61 percent)
● Providing support for public policy and advocacy (55 percent)
Reporting for this article was underwritten by a Lilly Endowment grant to enhance public understanding of philanthropy. The Chronicle is solely responsible for the content. See more about the Chronicle, the grant, how our foundation-supported journalism works, and our gift-acceptance policy.