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Mental Health and Well-being

We believe that every person deserves the opportunity to have good mental health. We work towards a community where all young people are supported in building healthy minds, and all adults are supported in sustaining healthy, productive lives.  

We are facing a growing mental health crisis, especially among our youth. One in 5 people experience mental illness and 1 in 7 experience a substance use disorder1 – both of which increased significantly during the pandemic.2 Mental health challenges are the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people.3 Social and racial inequities further exacerbate these challenges for people of color, children and families with low incomes, people who identify as LGBTQ+ and rural communities. Most people – including youth – with mental health challenges do not receive the care they need.4 Suicide is now second only to unintentional injury among causes of death for 10- to 34-year-olds, and deaths of despair (suicide, drug overdoses, alcohol-related deaths) are rising dramatically nationwide.5 The human and economic toll from this mental health crisis is unconscionable.

We asked community members who attended our Journey to Health Justice event in February 2023, What does mental health mean to you? Cincinnati artist Brandon Black created this piece from their responses.

We believe our region can lead the nation in creating a culture of well-being. We’ll get there through community-driven action, collective effort across many organizations, and changes in policies and systems.

Interact for Health is working with community partners to tackle the following priorities:

  • Strengthening systems and supports for young people in schools and communities, with youth leading the change.
  • Removing systemic barriers in mental health overall through policy advocacy, addressing the workforce shortage, expanding culturally relevant care and reducing stigma.

See the Open Funding page for RFPs and RFAs being accepted at this time. 

To learn more about our strategic planning process please click here.


  • Find a location near you to dispose of old or unused prescription drugs.
  • If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, text or call 988.
  • Find information on thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness at

For more information about our mental health work with young people in schools and communities, contact

Deanna Hillard, Program Manager Youth Mental Health

For more information about our work removing systemic barriers in mental health, contact

Lisa Myers, Senior Program Manager of Mental Health Systems

1 Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 2021. SAMHSA.
2 Czeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057.
3 Protecting Youth Mental Health: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory. 2021.
4 The State of Mental Health in America. 2023. Mental Health America.
5 Pain in the Nation: The Epidemics of Alcohol, Drug, and Suicide Deaths. 2022. Trust for America’s Health, Well Being Trust.