by Evander Lomke on
This is the sixth Annual Report of The American Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), a research organization formed in 1924, incorporated in New York State December 31, 1954. In 2017, AMHF celebrates 93 years of philanthropic service and activities—“Advancing Mental Health: A Century of Excellence in Mental Health Research.”
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, updated in 2012, is found on the homepage of its Web site.)
- Toward this end, a Facebook Page was created in 2015. Its reach has slowly grown so that recent entries average ~450 Views.
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 helped 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.
2015-16 Leadership Changes: Sister Joan Curtin accepted the position of secretary. John P. Fowler left the board for personal reasons following 10 years of service, He continues as treasurer and financial adviser. Mr. Fowler is one of only four chairpersons in the history of AMHF.
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AMHF works in three program areas:
- conducts research
- organizes educational seminars and webinars
- publishes books in related areas
(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 into later-life schizophrenia or other psychoses. Given the dearth of analysis in the area of predictive psychiatric behavior among youth, AMHFestablished this as its principal research and programming goal to 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 under the imprint of American Mental Health Foundation Books. The monograph, by Mary Nichols, Suzanne Button, Katherine Hoople, and Laura Lappan is entitled Early Identification, Palliative Care, and Prevention of Psychotic Disorders in Children and Youth.
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No Person Will Be Untestable. AMHF, to work with Pearson Assessment, completed the first stage in developing an improved abilities (IQ) test for individuals diagnosed in the severe-to-profound range. (Pearson markets Stanford-Binet, the Bayley Scales, et al internationally.) “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. As of October 2016, several candidates are under consideration. AMHF requires a substantial gift or research grant to move forward.
(2) Publishing. On April 7, 2016, There’s No Handle on My Door: Stories of Patients in Mental Hospitals, by Dr. Henry Kellerman, was issued in traditional paperback as well as ebook formats.
A third book was published April 7, 2016, by Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr., Violence: Why People Do Bad Things, with Strategies to Reduce that Risk. Altogether, AMHF Books will have published 25 titles (discounting 2 on its historic research in group psychotherapy, available on its Web site in several languages) between its launch in fall 2009 and spring 2016.These include 4 by Erich Fromm; 8 (by June 2017 nine) on aspects of individual and societal manifestations of violence and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by Harvard Medical School clinical-psychologist Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr. The 9th by Dr. Flannery will be issued June 15, 2017: a concise book for general readers as well as professionals: Coping with Anxiety in an Age of Terrorism. All titles are available via Lantern/Amazon/Kindle (each is in ebook format as well as paperback, or both hardcover and paperback). A program ad was placed in the fall 2016 books edition of New York Review of Books.
AMHF Books are now exhibited at relevant, larger academic meetings, beginning in 2015, through the Library of Social Science. Most recently, on October 13-15, 2016, AMHF exhibited at the 22nd annual conference of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society.
(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 October 2016, professionals and students continue to sign up for one of the Webinars.
Due to our size, 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.
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Web site: The site received an average of 275 hits and views per day through May 2016. There had been a considerable falloff during the summer, followed by a modest rebound in the fall to ~150 hits and views per day The goal is to double this in 2015 and increase significant looks/landings. The homepage was improved in 2016, with “Reports” added to it and “Help” expanded with more sources for individuals in need. Web-site interactivity is not planned.
Income: 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 through the present fiscal year but not beyond. In early 2017, AMHF will receive a portion of the estate of the late Ms. Gwendolyn Curry. Other 2014-16 donors are listed on the AMHF Web site. Additional, but in truth inadequate, sources of income include earnings from investments as well as the publishing program, which also slipped in 2015-16. Other income streams are essential to the mission. Latest AMHF-audit and NYS Charities Bureau filings are posted on the Web site under Donate.
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Long-range Future: Building Donors, Grant Applications: AMHF expects a higher rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 2017. The AMHF mission and accomplishments are outstanding for a nonprofit of this scale.
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 lifework of Dr. Stefan de Schill.
Following are 8 key areas or research programs, all listed on the 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
- Alcohol and Substance Abuse
- Annual Reports
- Astor Services
- Featured Front Page
- Group Psychotherapy
- Individuals with Special Needs
- Mental Health Training
- Pearson Assessments
- Play Therapy
- Psychological Testing
- Public Policy
- Special Needs
- Stefan de Shill
- The Elderly