The Quell Foundation Supports Population-Level Approach to Mental Health

July 23, 2021

Poor mental health robs millions of people of their chance to lead healthy, productive lives. Although effective treatments exist for most mental illnesses, there are too few mental health specialists to care for everyone in need.

In the United States, only 1 in 10 adults with a mental health problem sees a psychiatrist in any given year, according to researchers – a ratio that is even worse in many other parts of the world.

The Quell Foundation, whose mission is to reduce the number of suicides, overdoses, and the incarceration of people living with a mental health illness, is giving $150,000 to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The gift will expand training in collaborative care and telehealth, approaches that allow one psychiatrist to reach a larger population of people.

“This is an incredible opportunity to expand the mental health workforce and close the gap between the treatments we know work and the care that is actually delivered,” said Dr. Anna Ratzliff, director of the UW Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program.

The philanthropic gift will ensure that research and clinical advances in population-based mental health care reaches new psychiatrists just beginning their career.  Residents will be trained to deliver care for mental health and suicide prevention.  The rotation also will teach psychiatrists how to assess the psychiatric and suicide-prevention capabilities of their own teams, relative to the patient populations they serve.

The rotation will be piloted at the UW School of Medicine and, once finalized, made available to all other interested residency programs.

In a collaborative care model, primary-care providers work with a depression care manager and a designated psychiatric consultant.  Research reported in JAMA in 2002 shows that this approach can more than double the likelihood of reducing patients’ depression.

Providing population-level mental health care aims to improve access to care for Black, Indigenous and people of color populations, groups that receive disproportionately worse care.

“Ensuring that every person who seeks treatment for mental health conditions can find adequate and timely care is a critical component of population health,” said Kevin Lynch, CEO of The Quell Foundation.


The Quell Foundation, Inc.

North Falmouth, MA – The Quell Foundation strives to reduce the number of suicides, overdoses, and the incarceration of people living with a mental health illness. We work to accomplish this by encouraging people to share their stories, increasing access to mental health services, providing a pipeline of future mental health care professionals, and training first responders to recognize mental health crisis warning signs amongst their own.

Visit to learn more about the Masquerade Ball, the “Lift the Mask – Portraits of Life with Mental Illness” documentary, or for general information about the Foundation. The Quell Foundation, Inc. is a National 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation – Tax ID 47-5127883