project leader
Joy K
525 W 120th St
(Harlem/New York City)
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the project

Ten years ago, The Child & Family Institute (CFI) was founded to help address the mounting mental health crisis, offering children, families and young adults the most effective mental and behavioral healthcare treatments that science had to offer.

But the COVID era saw a surge in mental/behavioral health needs and disparities. Like many in the helping professions, our team understood that critical communities of need were being overlooked. The mounting mental and behavioral health crisis was surging due to COVID, but still largely ignored by the federal government and insurance companies. With higher rates of anxiety, depression, suicide, trauma and grief, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, as well as child behavior issues and marital/family conflict, the nation’s most vulnerable and marginalized families were being denied access to affordable, effective care. 

Our solution was to start a relief campaign, with the mission of raising funds to be able to offer the same high-quality, evidence-based mental and behavioral health treatments regardless of an ability to pay, including large-scale pro bono services. The idea became a reality in early 2020, as CFI quickly established itself as a means for uninsured and underinsured people in need to access affordable care. To date, CFI has helped hundreds of underserved children and families. The current campaign focuses on our Harlem/Manhattan project.


Concurrently with its relief efforts, CFI launched an Equity and Effectiveness Scientific Council (EESC) to explore the most effective treatments for children who need it the most. This can include children who are minorities, live in rural areas or lack financial resources. In partnership with leading clinical psychology researchers and treatment developers, the EESC will develop and evaluate innovative cognitive-behavioral therapies for youth—including potential time- and cost-effective approaches, as well as sustainable service delivery systems. Eventually, study data and protocols, along with service delivery models, will be shared with the mental and public health field, toward a collective goal of increasing mental and behavioral health treatment access, equity and effectiveness.


CFI is expanding mental and behavioral health service and training programs for graduate student clinicians and post-doctoral fellows, including individual and group cognitive-behavioral therapies, neuropsychology, psychiatry, medical psychology, speech therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, creative arts therapy, virtual reality therapy and biofeedback.

CFI’s training initiative includes both a robust in-house training program, and collaborations with local university training programs in underserved communities to provide expert training and expand high-quality care through a growing collective of pro bono and low-fee student clinics. CFI’s first partnership is with Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, whose student clinic services Harlem, the Bronx and other under-resourced communities.

Help us help others

Even as the pandemic wanes, CFI continues its relief initiative to provide highly specialized programs, training, and services for the uninsured and underinsured, with an emphasis on helping low-income, Black, Indigenous and People of Color populations. Our summer 2021 goal is to help another 100 families in crisis.

Please consider joining us. Every tax-deductible donation, up to $1,000 a person, will be matched and doubled—or quadrupled with certain employer matching programs.


the steps

1) Help an additional 100 underserved families in crisis this summer.

2) Begin to collect data on treatment equity and effectiveness, in collaboration with our expert Scientific Council.

3) Begin training 12 new students from diverse backgrounds to help develop the next generation of culturally comptenent and diverse evidence-based pfractitioners (psychologists and social workers), further expanding access to high quality care- including through our Harlem clinic collaboration with Columbia University.

why we're doing it


Over a decade ago the U.S. Congress passed the Mental Health Parity And Addiction Equity Act, with its promise to make mental and behavioral health treatments as easy to access as other medical services. Yet today, amid COVID, economic hardship, an opioid epidemic and spike in suicide, individuals still struggle to find quality mental health treatments.

A recent healthcare study (Milliman-HYPERLINK) reported:

  • Mental and behavioral health services were provided 4-6 times more often out-of-network, compared to medical/surgical care.
  • In-network mental health providers were paid significantly less—in some states, more than 50% less—than primary care providers offering similar services. 
  • At least 63% of behavioral healthcare occurred exclusively out-of-network in some regions, such as Washington, D.C.

This results in expensive insurance plans with insufficient mental and behavioral health networks, coupled with rising costs of expensive private, out-of-network services. Being left without access to affordable, quality mental healthcare is further compounded by significant increases in mental health disparities among socioeconomically disadvantaged and BIPOC populations during COVID.


Therapists- $10,000

Supervisors- $10,000 

Admin- $10,000

To serve approximately 100 BIPOC families in Harlem during 2021. 

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $1,604
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)

Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.


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  • Anonymous
  • Annie D.
  • Columbia University Teacher's College
  • Michael R.
  • The Child & Family Institute
  • Adam S. Weissman, Ph.D.