Globally, 75% of all mental health challenges begin before age 24, and almost 46,000 adolescents die from suicide every year, putting it among the top five causes of death for their age group. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), up to 90% of the mental health needs of young people are going unmet due to a lack of resources. Despite ever growing needs, only 2% of national health budgets is spent on mental health and often less than 1% in LMICs. In comparison, only 0.24% of international development assistance is dedicated to child- and family mental health support.
Being wants to improve the mental wellbeing of young people in LMICs and bring positive system-level change to local communities and beyond through a coordinated and strategic approach that combines networks, research, innovation, policy and advocacy, and engagement with young people and people with lived experience.
Being will fund and support research and innovative approaches that improve the mental wellbeing of young people aged 10 to 24 in Romania, Tanzania, Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, Senegal, India, Morocco, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Vietnam – with the aim of creating supportive communities where young people have the means and agency to promote their wellbeing according to their needs. These initial priority countries were selected for their fast-growing urban environments – a special focus of interest for the initiative.
The experiences acquired in the initial focus countries will be of global relevance. Being and its partners want to create an ecosystem for young people’s mental health by promoting the ongoing exchange of new evidence, innovations and learnings to inform international discourse.
Being will influence lasting change in programming, research and policies through active networks at national and global levels by connecting donors, funders, investors, governments, multilateral scaling partners, local intermediaries, and communities.
Grand Challenges Canada
Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, Grand Challenges Canada funds innovators in low-and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas Grand Challenges Canada supports integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – known as Integrated Innovation®. One of the largest impact-first investors in Canada, Grand Challenges Canada has supported a pipeline of over 1,400 innovations in 96 countries. Grand Challenges Canada estimates that these innovations have the potential to save up to 1.78 million lives and improve up to 64 million lives by 2030.
United for Global Mental Health (UGMH)
United for Global Mental Health works to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and increase support for mental health around the world with trusted partners.
The United for Global Mental Health team is made up of diverse, passionate and knowledgeable individuals. By combining their extensive in-house expertise in advocacy, financing and campaigning with the unique insights of their many partners, they’re already making progress on their mission.
Fondation Botnar is a Swiss philanthropic foundation working to improve the health and wellbeing of young people living in cities around the world. Advocating for the inclusion of youth voices and the equitable use of AI and digital technology, the foundation invests in and supports innovative programs and research, and brings together actors from across sectors to create dialogue and partnerships.
National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR)
The National Institute of Health and Care Research’s (NIHR) mission is to improve health and wealth through research. Globally, NIHR funds high-quality global health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The portfolio builds Research and Development capacity and capability in LMICs and the UK through equitable partnerships. The NIHR – funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care – supports research in developing countries that are eligible to receive Official Development Assistance (ODA). Working closely with the global health research community, we commission and invest in applied health research and training that responds to the diverse needs of LMIC communities, anticipates the evolving global burden of disease and addresses health system priorities.
Being’s Council is made up of leading researchers, young people, people with lived experience, mental health partners, wellbeing experts, and other relevant stakeholders to refine and specify the focus and principles of the scope of our work.
The Council will provide global expert advice on the strategy and direction of Being.
Members of the Council:
- Crick Lund, PhD, Professor of Global Mental Health and Development, King’s College London
- Dr Usman Hamdani, Lead, Mental Health Translation, Wellcome Trust
- Zeinab Hijazi, MSc. PsyD, Senior Mental Health Technical Advisor, UNICEF
- Margianta Surahman Juhanda Dinata, Founder and Executive Director, Emancipate Indonesia
- Charlene Sunkel, Founder/CEO, Global Mental Health Peer Network
- Raj Mariwala, Director, Mariwala Health Initiative
- Danielle Kemmer, Executive Director, International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders