Be The Spark - For Mental and Behavioral Health




Help us give more to this issue and raise awareness in 2017 and beyond by making a tax-deductible gift with our PayPal account. LVCF donor-advised funds can provide support with a simple email request to


Learn more about Mental & Behavioral Health by viewing the stats below, and viewing the five finalist videos for LVCF Spark Grants.    


Attend our awareness event to meet other funders and to hear from community leaders and organizations serving this important issue.

A Conversation with Representative Mike Schlossberg
Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, recently began his third term representing the 132nd Legislative District.  A strong advocate for mental and behavioral health issues, Rep. Schlossberg will share his personal story and focus on mental health in his governmental work. Rep. Schlossberg is one of only three state representatives nationwide to be honored with the Allies in Action Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for his great support and advocacy work for people living with a mental health conditions and for removing barriers to treatment. 

Thursday, February 23rd, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. 
( Presentation from 4:15 - 5:30 p.m.) Refreshments will be served 

St. Luke's Allentown Campus
Dimmig Education Center,  1736 Hamilton Street

RSVP to Erika Riddle Petrozelli,  Director of Donor Services, LVCF,, or call 610 351-5353, ext. 13. (space is limited)

The Spark Series | Mental and Behavioral Health is the first of six programs that will be held over the next year to coincide with the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation's 50th Anniversary year of special grantmaking.  

This event is presented in partnership with the National Alliance of Mental Illness | Lehigh Valley.


If you or someone you know may need a mental health assessment, anonymous online tools are available. Learn more and help yourself or someone you care about.

Making The Case for Mental and Behavorial Health

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, mental illness refers to a group of disorders which cause severe and persistent disturbances in a person’s ability to think, feel and relate. Untreated, it can result in a greatly lowered ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life.  Mental illness can affect individuals of any age, and it can occur in any family.  These brain disorders are more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. 

Without treatment, the consequences of mental illness for the individuals, their families, and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives.


  • 37% of students with a serious mental health condition age 14 and older drop out of school—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.  In the Lehigh Valley, between 500 and 800 students drop out of school each year, and mental health is cited as a strong contributing factor.
  • 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness.  Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults live with a serious mental illness.  Over 10 million adults have co-occuring mental health and addiction disorders.  But, only 50% of adults with mental illness receive treatment. 
  • Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness.
  • 50% of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14 and 75% by age 24.  Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10 - 24.
  • False information and stigma keep many with mental illness from seeking the help, support and information they desperately need.

This document contains statistics provided by the National Institute of Mental Health