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Living with Mental Illness

The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.  

  • Mental illnesses usually strike individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable.

  • Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.

  • Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders.  They cannot be overcome through "will power" and are not related to a person's "character" or intelligence.

  • With appropriate effective medication and a wide range of services tailored to their needs, most people who live with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and find a satisfying measure of achievement and independence. A key concept is to develop expertise in developing strategies to manage the illness process.


    *Information courtesy of National Mental Health Institute











    Applying for a Grant Comment


    Please carefully read the following general requirements in their entirety before submitting a grant proposal. If your organization does not meet all of these requirements it will not be considered for funding from the Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Foundation.

  • Organizations must be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3), not a 509(a) private foundations
  • Organization must submit a letter from the IRS declaring this status.
  • Organizations must submit a recent completed IRS 990 Form.
  • Organizations must have IRS qualifying public support of over $100,000 from the preceding year.
  • An organization’s personnel costs must be less than 50% of their total expenses.
  • Organizations must have been in existence for at least one (1) year.
  • NAAF will not provide more than 25% of an organization’s general operating budget.
  • Grants are for one (1) year and are not automatically renewable for multiple years.
  • Organizations are limited to one (1) grant application per calendar year.

  • Timeline

    The Foundation only funds 501 (c) (3) organizations in either Atlanta or in Los Angeles County. Once your organization is invited to submit a brief letter of inquiry seeking a grant with aims consistent with those of the Foundation, please click herefor our Grant Application Section (password protected). Application materials and guidelines will be mailed to you or can be accessed in our Grant Application Section. Proposals are received year round by invitation only. Unsolicited Letters of Inquiry and Proposals will not be taken under consideration.

    Program Goals

  • To develop an appreciation for the arts as a conduit for healing and recovery
  • ·Develop the message of “Stop Stigma” into a social change call to action
  • To stimulate participation in artistic processes by individuals facing lifestyle challenges in order to build awareness for the transformative value of arts in daily life; and
    To establish long-term relationships between mental health and arts organizations, capitalizing on their unique perspectives on social issues.
  • Program Objectives

  • To become involved in the recognition and treatment of artistically gifted individuals as early as possible after diagnosis.
  • To provide nonprofit social service agencies with a dynamic population of artists in residence reflecting multiple disciplines in the arts;
  • To enrich the community with services, which includes artists in residence involvement in demonstrations, lectures, seminars, workshops, exhibitions and performances;
  • To implement arts projects adapted to the needs and circumstances of the homeless and others in need of assistance.
  • Our Partners

    The following organizations are our partners.

    The California Endowment
    realtionship informatio
    The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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    The Jimmy Cartner Center
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    The Annenberg Foundation
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    No Kidding Me To!
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    Paramount Pictures
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    Participant Media
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    The Los Angeles Philharmonic
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    Dreamworks Studios
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    LAMP Communities
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    Community Outreach
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