Mental Health Excellence
At Open Excellence, we fund independent research and innovative programs that transform mental health care.
Who we are
Open Excellence was established in 2011 as a unique community foundation — of, by and for the community of people concerned with improving mental health globally. We raise money to provide direct grants from our general fund to change and improve the way that mental health care is conceived and delivered, and we establish and manage Donor Advised Funds that make gifts aligned with our mission through our umbrella organization, the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care (FEMHC).
Open Excellence and FEMHC are a community of philanthropists, scientists, people with lived experience, innovators and care providers who are committed to transforming mental health outcomes.
Open Excellence is a 501(c)3 charitable organization with a mission to sponsor research and programs that promote better mental health outcomes. We identify, help develop, and share knowledge with the public about mental health care that best helps people recover and live well in society.
We envision a new world of mental health services that prioritizes recovery, connection and human rights for all who suffer with mental health problems. We work with investigators and innovators who address the social determinants of health to discover solutions to mental health problems that promote healing and growth. We seek to bring about humane, science-based mental health practices that are developed independent from industry influence and delivered with compassion and respect for the human rights and dignity of all people. We seek to build, and build upon, a foundation for excellence in mental health care.
Board of Directors
Scientific advisory COUNCIL
The journey toward mental health care excellence.
An international gathering of mental health leaders in response to Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic – a game-changing exposé of the research on psychotropic drugs.
Adapting Open Dialogue
Adaption and study of the Open Dialogue approach to the U.S. and other cultures begins at UMass Medical School.
1st Funded Research Published
The first of a series of peer-reviewed research by Martin Harrow and Thomas Jobe on the effects of long-term medication use, micronutrients, and psychosocial treatment innovations is published.
Children's treatment guidelines study published
Doctors Michael Murphy and Lee Baer at Massachusetts General Hospital received one of our earliest grants to analyze children’s treatment guidelines. Study results were published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry
Hearing Voices R&D Launch
A multi-phase project to expand the Hearing Voices support network across the United States and conduct large-scale research into the key elements that make the approach work.
Supporting Lived Experience Research
Competitive Innovation Grants
Five $100K grants were awarded for innovations in the treatment of children and youth, leadership development for people with lived experience, and an online curriculum on the history of the public mental health system.
Research & Development of Non-Drug Treatment for Youth
The Consciousness-raising Curriculum for Re-telling the Story of Ourselves was created at Colorado State University with a grant from Open Excellence. It aims to shift conversation away from an exclusively medical understanding of young adults’ mental and emotional distress and guides users in exploring myriad other frameworks and language for making meaning of intense mental-emotional distress.
Kick-0ff of International Research Collaboration
A multi-phase project to document how Open Dialogue is practiced around the world, followed by the study of culturally-appropriate adaptations and continuous improvement.
Independent journalism for the public good
With a multi-year grant from Open Excellence, Emmy-winning science journalist and author Robert Whitaker and writers at the MadInAmerica webzine provide original reporting on mental health care innovation, policy issues, drug reviews, interviews, news, and media watch.
COVID Relief for Peer-Run Organizations
Peer support and respite organizations like Wildflower Alliance, Runaway House, MindFreedom International, Intentional Peer Support and the Institute for the Development of Human Arts help people in distress find refuge, meaning and a path forward. Thanks to our donors, Open Excellence was able to assist these organizations’ response to the challenges of the pandemic.