March 31, 2021 | Articles

The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health Awards Over 80 Grants to Expand Mental Health Services for Adolescents of Color and LGBTQ+ Youth

$10.8 million in grants awarded to organizations from across the United States providing direct services and innovative systems-enabling solutions to improve access to care

As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates mental health and well-being challenges for adolescents, organizations large and small have stretched to meet increased demand, develop new ways to provide services, and address the systemic challenges in accessing care. The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health today announced grants to 88 non-profit organizations that are addressing these urgent needs in communities across the country.

“We are happy to announce that financial support from The Upswing Fund will enable organizations to continue mission-critical work with adolescents who are of color and/or LGBTQ+ in this challenging time,” said Solomé Tibebu, Director of The Upswing Fund. “These organizations are on the front lines combatting a mental health epidemic during a global pandemic by delivering impactful programs and innovations in an ever-changing world.”

Launched in October 2020, The Upswing Fund has worked to expand mental healthcare by awarding $10.8 million in grants across 33 states plus Washington, D.C. These grants will enable organizations – many of which employ less than 50 full-time employees - to immediately increase their capacity to serve more youth in new and innovative ways.

Many of the partner organizations that The Upswing Fund works with have pivoted to bring much needed services directly to adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing:

  • Professionally-facilitated chat rooms and peer discussion groups
  • Video and text-based telehealth services
  • Youth-led mental health workshops
  • Crisis response care via a mobile counseling center

Additionally, several awardees are focused on mitigating systemic challenges in barriers to care such as decreasing the stigma around seeking mental health support through targeted campaigns, integrating school-based mental health services, and providing education and supports for families and caregivers to better support LGBTQ+ youth.

“No young person should go without the care they need, especially when it comes to their emotional and mental well-being,” said Dr. Renee Wittemyer, Director of Program Strategy and Investment at Pivotal Ventures. “The pandemic has made it even harder for organizations that support adolescent mental health to meet the surging needs of young people, and many young people of color and LGBTQ+ youth are falling through the cracks. Grants from The Upswing Fund are helping more than 80 organizations expand their services during this time of crisis. Pivotal Ventures is proud to be a part of this collaborative and timely effort as part of our broader work to improve the mental health and well-being of young people.”

More than 480 grant request submissions were received by The Upswing Fund in just over six weeks. Grants were provided to approximately 20% of applicants—just a fraction of the organizations that are providing critical services in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has put increased stress on systems that are already stretched to capacity and The Upswing Fund hopes that these grants will attract more attention and support for organizations supporting adolescent mental health nationwide.

The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health is a collaborative fund seeded by Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda French Gates to advance social progress in the United States. Further support is provided by The Klarman Family Foundation. The Fund is powered by Panorama and advised by a renowned set of mental health experts with deep clinical and research expertise and a passion to support youth and communities.

For the video announcement, along with a complete list of The Upswing Fund grant recipients, visit:

To learn more about the Fund and how to join as a collaborative funder, visit:

About The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health is a collaborative fund that provides timely resources to organizations that focus on the mental health and well-being of adolescents who are of color and/or LGBTQ+ in the United States—populations that face urgent needs but too often lack access to the care they need. The Fund is powered by Panorama.

For more information, visit and @theupswingfund on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Panorama Global Panorama Global is a platform for social change dedicated to solving global problems through audacious thinking and bold action.

For more information, visit and @PanoramaTeam on Twitter and @PanoramaGlobal on LinkedIn.

Media Contact

LaShondà Steward

(229) 529-4465

[email protected]

Return to News