Today, the Patrick P. Lee Foundation (Lee Foundation) announced $984,250 in mental health grants and scholarships to support mental health professionals. The Lee Foundation concentrates its investments in two key focus areas – mental health and education.

“May is Mental Health Awareness Month so it is an opportunity for us to bring greater awareness to mental illness and its far reaching impact on our community,” says Jane Mogavero, Executive Director of the Lee Foundation. “Mental health needs in Western New York and throughout the United States are considerable. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates one in five adults in America experiences a mental illness. Despite its prevalence, last year, 60% of those living with a mental illness did not receive mental health services.”

Mogavero continues, “Part of the Foundation’s long range view, and inherent in our mental health grantmaking, is our commitment to raise awareness, encourage public investment and remove barriers to care. We envision a community that is well-informed about mental health, inclusive of people living with mental illness and served by high quality, accessible mental health services.”

In furtherance of its mental health goals, the Lee Foundation awarded grants to the following organizations:

Ø ECMC – $250,000 (construction of Behavioral Health Safe Suites in the new Trauma Center/Emergency Department)
Ø Gerard Place – $100,000 (supported employment program for people with mental illness)
Ø Lt. Matt Urban Center for Human Services – $40,000 (supported employment program for people with mental illness)
Ø People, Inc. – $100,000 (supported employment program for people with mental illness)
Ø Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences -University at Buffalo – $192,000 (scholarships for medical students pursuing psychiatry)
Ø Department of Psychiatry – University at Buffalo – $302, 250 (creation of a Psychology Doctoral Internship Program)

Earlier this month the Lee Foundation launched its new mental health initiative, BeKind2TheMind. The first phase of the initiative features Congressman Brian Higgins (D) and Congressman Tom Reed (R) sharing statistics about mental illnesses and encouraging people to call their elected officials about increased mental health funding. Viewers are directed to where they can search the name and contact information for their elected officials.

About the Patrick P. Lee Foundation

The Patrick P. Lee Foundation, established in 2007, is a private family foundation dedicated to having immediate and measurable impact in two key investment areas- Mental Health and Education. For more information, visit

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