The announcement Monday of a $50 million commitment to Lindner Center of HOPE by philanthropists Linda and Harry Fath is both a statement about the importance of enhancing mental health care and a challenge to other donors.
First people to answer the challenge are Frances and Craig Lindner, who have made a $25 million gift of their own.
The $75 million in gifts is notable for its sheer enormity: the largest ever received by the nonprofit comprehensive mental health center and two of the largest mental health grants ever made by individuals in North America.
Through these lead gifts, the Faths and Lindners are inspiring everyone with a passion to improve mental health care to join them in supporting Lindner Center of HOPE,” said Dr. Paul E. Keck Jr., president and CEO of the center. “This is not a conclusion but a beginning. Together, we can ensure that people have access to life-changing care now and into the future.”
“It is time to break the silence associated with mental health and recognize much more must be done to understand, treat, and care for people with mental illnesses” -Harry Fath
The question now: Who will be next?
“We would like to challenge the community to match our gifts,” said Fath, a lawyer and entrepreneur who owns Fath Properties, a real estate management firm.
“Our hope is that over time we will raise well in excess of the $75 million. This would truly put the center in a position to accomplish the original dream of establishing the nation’s leading comprehensive facility for mental health care.”
“My family believes in the power of the Lindner Center of HOPE’s diagnostic and treatment programs to help people who have lost hope,” Fath said.
“It is time to break the silence associated with mental health and recognize much more must be done to understand, treat, and care for people with mental illnesses,” he said.
The Lindners are founders of the Lindner Center of Hope, and Craig Lindner, co-CEO and co-president of American Financial Group Inc., is the board chair of the center.
“Frances and I were so moved by the incredible generosity of Linda and Harry Fath that we have decided to contribute an additional $25 million to the endowment fund,” said Craig Lindner. “Our hope is that others will join us in the effort to help more people on the road to mental wellness through the Lindner Center of HOPE.”
Mental health disorders affect more people nationally than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined.
“One in five American adults experiences a mental illness. It is the leading public health issue in our community and our nation,” said Dr. Keck. “The Faths’ and Lindners’ generosity will kick-start our ability to enhance our staff, develop new treatment programs, and expand our research efforts to break new ground in mental health treatment.”
The funding will support the development and expansion of new clinical programs to provide treatment for conditions including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, substance use, and eating disorders. It will help fund research, professional education, and capital improvements at the center.
A portion of the gifts will be earmarked to provide patient financial assistance and public outreach to reduce stigma.
The center will honor the Faths’ generosity by naming:
- The Chief Research Officer, Director of the Research Institute position: The Linda and Harry Fath Professor of Psychiatry
- Its inpatient units as: The Linda and Harry Fath Young Adult Inpatient Unit and The Linda and Harry Fath Adult Inpatient Unit
- The endowment fund as: The Linda and Harry Fath Endowment.
In the decade since its founding, the center in Mason has served nearly 30,000 patients and earned “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®” recognition from The Joint Commission.
The center is a charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers. Its Research Institute is a lead contributor in groundbreaking programs, such as the Mayo Clinic’s Individualized Medicine Biobank for Bipolar Disorder, which is studying the connection between gene types and medicines that treat disease.