UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland has announced a $15 million gift from Lynne and Marc Benioff to address the shortage of mental health services for children and adolescents in Oakland and the East Bay.
The final installment in a $50 million commitment announced by the couple in 2014, the funds will enable the hospital to expand its mental health services and leverage additional philanthropy in support of pediatric and adolescent mental health in the Bay Area. Among other things, the gift will enable the hospital to increase the number of mental health providers on staff, doubling its psychiatric visit capacity to approximately ten thousand; adopt new early intervention approaches, including an access portal to support training of primary care physicians in the community; and implement a patient referral process designed to help children get the care they need sooner.
Since 2005, the Benioffs, who signed the Giving Pledge in 2016, have donated more than $327 million to UCSF, including $200 million in support of Benioff Children's Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, and, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $50 million to launch the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Preterm Birth Initiative.
"Children are suffering from an extraordinary amount of stress and mental illness, and we must rise to the challenge of meeting this need in what is truly a public health crisis," said Michael Anderson, president of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals. "UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland stands as a beacon of hope for kids, and thanks to the generous foresight of Lynne and Marc Benioff, we can lay the groundwork to become an international leader in pediatric mental health care."