Boldly Envisioning The Future of Mental Health Care

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The Brookline Center's Innovation Institute

Imagine a world where everyone has access to mental health support. The Brookline Center is actively shaping this future.  

There is a critical shortage of mental health providers today. By one estimate, the number of clinicians working in mental health is sufficient to cover just 13% of the actual need. The U.S. government projects that the country would require 4.5 million new clinicians by 2025 to meet the growing demand for mental health services. Meanwhile, more people than ever need care and children’s mental health has become an epidemic of its own.  

In response to today’s enormous challenges, The Brookline Center is re-imagining its core work. In 2023, the Center began its evolution from an outpatient-centered community mental health care provider to an innovation hub for designing, developing, and sharing groundbreaking mental health programs and services. As a hybrid care provider and innovation incubator, the Center functions similarly to the world-renowned research institutions and hospitals in our neighborhood that strive to narrow the gap between healthcare innovation and patient impact. 

At the heart of this effort is the launch of The Brookline Center Innovation Institute, with its mission to transform the mental health system to be effective and equitable for all. The Innovation Institute will work in areas that present opportunities to advance equity and deliver better informed and broader care to underserved communities, as well as in areas where the Center has an established track record of innovation on which to build, particularly in children’s mental health. 

While most mental health innovation focuses on enhancing the existing system, the Innovation Institute seeks to change the fundamentals of the system itself, aiming to transform systems of care by changing where care is delivered, how we provide care, and who provides care. 

“The current mental health system is unable to meet the growing demand for services,” says Ian Lang, CEO. “By focusing on innovation, The Brookline Center is committed to developing solutions that lead to successful outcomes for all who seek mental health care — not only the small percentage of individuals who in the current system ‘win the care lottery’ and are able to access support. 

Forging new partnerships and securing funding are important steps forward for the Institute. Two transformative gifts have helped us launch this effort. Board member Pam Lodish and her husband Dr. Harvey Lodish have generously given $1 million to support the Institute’s launch. The Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation made a $1 million commitment to the Institute this year. “Our investment in The Brookline Center Innovation Institute is a vote for a more expansive and more effective mental health care system, and a more hopeful future for people experiencing mental health challenges,” said Tracy Sawicki, Executive Director of the Tower Foundation.