by Evander Lomke on
This is the seventh Annual Report of The American Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), a research organization formed in 1924, incorporated in New York State December 31, 1954. AMHF celebrates 10 decades of philanthropic service and activities—“Advancing Mental Health: A Century of Excellence in Mental Health Research.”—likely an unprecedented long-term record of service to the public weal.
Vision: Building a More Compassionate Society—Get Involved!
Mission: AMHF endeavors to advance mental health in society through education and advocacy in several forms. The Mission Statement was updated five years ago to reflect a groundbreaking two-year study of at-risk youth (published April 2016), found on the homepage of its Web site and here.
Toward this end, a Facebook Page was created in 2015. Its reach has steadily grown so that recent entries average 500 Views, and ca. September 2017 two of 2,000 and 4,500, respectively.
History: The AMHF Wikipedia entry now more clearly describes the key role of Hermann Broch, postwar chairman. A giant of 20th-century Austrian literature and social psychology, Broch was aided out of Vienna, following the Austrian Anschluss, by James Joyce, as one of his last acts. Broch and Otto Kauders recruited Dr. Stefan de Schill for director of research in 1948, a post de Schill retained till his death 13 years ago.
2017 Leadership Changes: Jacqueline A. Lofaro was elected fifth chairman in ithe history of AMHF on March 29, 2017. Mrs. Lofaro is the first woman chairman. John P. Fowler left the board for personal reasons in 2016, following 10 years of service, He continues as treasurer and financial adviser.
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AMHF works in three program areas:
- books areas related to research
(1) Research. In June 2012, the directors approved funding a two-year control study under the direction of Dr. Suzanne Button of Astor Services for Children & Families. This is a scientific study of individuals with documented behavioral issues, between the ages of eight and fourteen, to identify factors and causes that could develop as later-life schizophrenia or other psychoses. Given the dearth of analysis in the area of predictive psychiatric behavior among youth, AMHF established this as its principal research and programming goal into 2016: to support important and necessary studies in the area of early detection, palliative care, and prevention, AMHF issued these findings on April 7, 2016: by Mary Nichols, Suzanne Button, Katherine Hoople, and Laura Lappan, entitled Early Identification, Palliative Care, and Prevention of Psychotic Disorders in Children and Youth.
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No Person Is Untestable”: Potential applications are enormous: e.g., to test aging individuals with Down syndrome for signs of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. This is only one. As of October 2017, several candidates remain under consideration. AMHF requires a substantial gift or research grant to move forward. In October 2017, Dr. Aurelio Prifitera left Pearson and a new contact is Cheryl McDougald.
(2) Publishing. On June 15, 2017, Coping with Anxiety in an Age of Terrorism, by Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr., was issued, and in September 2017 the book was released as an audiobook (Audiophile) as have been, in 2017, all 4 titles by Erich Fromm. On March 28, 2017, an op-ed by Evander Lomke on Coping with Anxiety in an Age of Terrorism, appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Psychotherapeutic Traction: Uncovering the Patient’s Power-theme and Basic-wish, by Dr. Henry Kellerman, and a reissue of the definitive pictorial biography of Fromm by his literary executor, Dr. Rainer Funk, are scheduled for early 2018. Altogether, AMHF Books will has published 25 titles (discounting 2 on its historic research in group psychotherapy, by Dr. de Schill, available for free on its Web site in several languages) between its launch in late-fall 2009 and spring 2018. All titles, all formats, are available via Lantern/Amazon/Kindle. A program ad is contemplated for the fall-2018 books edition of New York Review of Books.
In 2017, AMHF Books have been exhibited at roughly a dozen, academic meetings, through a cost-neutral promotion via Library of Social Science.
(3) Seminars/Webinars. As a vital part of its mission, in 2012 at the FDR Presidential Library, AMHF inaugurated its one-day seminars, “The Stefan de Schill Memorial Series.” This series was launched in 2011 as a two-day seminar “Small Family Business, Big Family Stress.”
Due to burgeoning costs in publicizing, the serminar series was superseded by two interactive Webinars in fall 2014—a first for this foundation, which offered 2 CEU units through APT, NASW, and NBCC. As of September 2017, professionals and students continue to sign up for one of the Webinars. In January 2017, AMHF was featured on Public Voice Salon hosted by John Bredin.
à Additional funding is sought to defray the prohibitive costs of even successful, especially successful ,Webinars and seminars, since as part of its mission AMHF keeps the cost for taking its Webinars low. The seminars are given free.
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Web site: The site is up for overhaul, to be more forward-looking, though present costs are prohibitive.
Professional Advisory Board: AMHF has an enviable professional-advisory board. In summer 2017, Alexis Tomarken, MSW, PhD, expert in providing therapy for the grieving, the kind that does not heal, was named the 14th adviser.
Income and Fundraising: AMHF has a single modest endowment: the Baschkopf Family Fund. The generosity of Rosaria Tomasetta, half of whose estate was donated to AMHF in August 2012, has been a source of funding to 2016. In early 2017, AMHF received a portion of the estate of the late Ms. Gwendolyn Curry. All 2017 donors are listed on the AMHF Web site. The latest AMHF-audit and NYS Charities Bureau filings are posted on the Web site under Donate. A test-fundraising letter, sent in fall 2016, broke even. But one of the recipients has added AMHF to the last will and testament. AMHF has reached a critical stage in funding its mission, and its directors seek a forward-leaning strategy.
The AMHF most-recent tax filing docments can also be viewed by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of that linked page.
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Long-range Future: Building Donors, Grant Applications: AMHF hopes for and looks forward to a higher rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 2017-18. The AMHF mission and accomplishments are outstanding for a nonprofit of this scale, but additional funding from individuals is urgently needed. (See the two paragraphs immediately above.)
One of the first philanthropic organizations of its kind in the world, AMHF is committed to growth, expansion, and extension of its mission and research in a way that will benefit individuals and society, particularly focusing on the specific emotional needs and issues confronted by the disabled and elders, populations traditionally underserved and helped by the 60-year lifework of Dr. Stefan de Schill, whose goal was to provide as much therapy as possible to the widest number of people at reasonable cost.
Following are 8 key areas or research programs, all listed on the AMHF Web site under “Donate” (per above link) alongside the following fund-raising goals:
- Schizophrenia $350,000
- AMHF-Pearson Assessment (Developmentally Delayed) $600,000 ($50K donated 2016-17)
- PTSD $150,000
- Suicide Prevention $250,000
- Depression $350,000
- OCD $150,000
- Alcoholism $150,000
- Animal-companion Bereavement $150,000