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. 

Our mission

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.

Our vision

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.

StafF

Board of Directors

Scientific advisory COUNCIL

History

The journey toward mental health care excellence.

February 2011

Founding Symposium

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.

February 2011
September 2012

Adapting Open Dialogue

Adaption and study of the Open Dialogue approach to the U.S. and other cultures begins at UMass Medical School.

September 2012
March 2013

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.

March 2013
June 2014

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

June 2014
March 2015

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.

March 2015
2016

Supporting Lived Experience Research

Live & Learn, Inc. partners with practitioners, patients, advocates, and researchers to ensure that the experiences of people who have used mental health services are represented in research. Its Excellence-funded study findings were published in the journal Psychiatric Services in July 2017.

2016
October 2017

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.

October 2017
2018

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.

 

2018
February 2019

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.

February 2019
2020

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.

2020
2021

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.

2021

Financials

Read our interactive annual reports.

Our partners

Collective Effort

We are excited to be working alongside these innovative organizations.