The U.S. HBC Foundation, the charitable arm of Hudson’s Bay Co., has awarded three grants totaling $500,000 to mental health programs as part of the retailer’s $6 million commitment to mental health initiatives by 2020.
The grants, awarded through the foundation’s “Headfirst” program, are being announced at a cocktail fund-raiser at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York; Rufus Wainwright is scheduled to perform. The foundation is giving the $500,000 to three nonprofit partners: the National Alliance on Mental Illness New York, the JED Foundation and Bring Change to Mind.
Tonight’s event is named “#1in5” to recognize the one in five Americans who will be impacted by mental illness. It aims to raise $1.5 million for the program through vendor support.
“About a year ago we launched the U.S. HBC Foundation and embarked on our journey to address one of the most misunderstood challenges of our time — mental health,” Richard Baker, HBC’s governor and executive chairman, told WWD. “We all know someone who is currently struggling, or who will struggle with mental health, with 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental illness. I’m so proud that we have taken on this important issue with such a significant impact, and that HBC is one of the first major retailers to focus on this vital cause. We truly thank our vendors who have joined us and helped to raise more than $1.5 million through our #1in5 campaign.”
“It has been an exciting time for me these past few months at HBC and I’ve been thrilled to see the passion around this cause from our leadership team, associates and our vendor community,” added Helena Foulkes, HBC’s chief executive officer. “Together, we will reach 300,000 people with mental health services and support in 2018 alone. We have a goal to reach half a million people with mental health services, support and education by 2020.”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness New York is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for Americans affected by mental illness.
JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and helps prevent suicide by teens and young adults. The grant will help JED launch the HBC Foundation Campus Scholarship Fund so colleges and universities can participate in the JED Campus program to strengthen student mental health.
Bring Change to Mind seeks to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. The HBC Foundation grant will support the #TalktoAnyone PSA campaign and provide financial and in-kind resources for student summits in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
“More than half of those living with mental illness will not seek help because of stigma; this discrimination prevents millions of people from leading full and successful lives,” said actress Glenn Close, a cofounder of Bring Change to Mind. “The best way to change perception is to encourage open, honest dialogue. The HBC Foundation grant will enable us to reach more people, particularly young people and launch a national conversation that fosters understanding about mental health.”
The HBC Foundation recognized Headfirst founding members for their contributions, including American Express, Leonard A. Lauder, David E. and Jacqueline S. Simon Charitable Foundation, PVH Corp., Peerless, G-III Apparel Group and Simon Property Group.