A Voice for Mental and Behavioral Health: Leadership Profile of Joseph Pyle, President of The Scattergood Foundation
Written by Melissa Fernandez
“You get a cold and you don’t hesitate to take a sick day. But people don’t call out of work depressed.”
In this statement, Joseph Pyle, president of the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation in Philadelphia, perfectly captures one of the greatest challenges to public health that has multiple cascading societal effects. Americans have a hesitation to openly and honestly voice their concerns about their mental and behavioral health.
At a time where some of the most hotly contested public debates center around issues such as gun control, prison overcrowding and state-supported welfare programs, it seems as though access to routine and preventive mental health resources would be a part of the mainstream dialogue on healthcare but despite the incontrovertible need, it’s still not a topic that most people are comfortable discussing as readily as they may be willing to talk about their diabetes or heart conditions. Mr. Pyle relates this back to the stigma of mental health disorders, highlighting the need for large-scale initiatives aimed toward normalizing mental health as a part of overall wellness and providing education and services to those most in need.
Identifying and Funding Social Innovations
Written by Joe Pyle, Alyson Ferguson, and Caitlin O’Brien
The Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation likes to use the Stanford Graduate School of Business definition of social innovation:
“A social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals.”
The Scattergood Foundation has worked to operationalize this definition by identifying, funding and planning for the sustainability of social innovations in the behavioral health sector. By using empathy, creativity and empowerment as guiding principles, the Scattergood Foundation embodies the framework of design thinking. Over the past five years, the Scattergood Foundation has had significant success in driving social innovation with a nontraditional approach to philanthropy, positively impacting communities across the United States. In fiscal year 2016, the Scattergood Foundation is slated to provide $950,000 in grants to organizations supporting social innovations through general grantmaking, the annual Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation Innovation Award and the Scattergood Foundation Design Challenge.
How Screening Technology Empowers Individuals and Communities to Promote Health
Written by Candice Porter
While there is increasing acceptance that there is no health without mental health and mental health is more than the absence of mental health disorders (WHO), there are limited large-scale, brief interventions to address mental health needs and to promote community well-being across whole populations. Roughly one in four of all U.S. adults currently struggle with mental illness, and about half will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime (CDC). A large majority of adults do not access treatment or wait to access treatment during a behavioral health crisis. Taking a public health, systems-level approach to addressing common mental health disorders can help to prevent onset, or to lead people to treatment and community resources earlier in the condition.
As communities (and indeed our society) change, so must the strategies employed to reach them. While community-based, in-person programming provides quality touch-points with individuals, behavioral health technology is increasingly being used for both large-scale information dissemination and individual-level intervention, such as smartphone apps. The introduction of the first ever mental health screening kiosk is a balance between traditional face-to-face interactions and innovative technologies.