Rancho Mirage, Calif. (February 24, 2023) – The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation—the nation's leading nonprofit system of substance use disorder treatment, mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services—today announced it has received a $10 million commitment from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation to initiate the establishment of a National Center for Families and Children.
"Helping family members heal and empowering them to be part of their loved one's recovery is a key to unlocking transformative change and improving outcomes in addiction and mental health care," said Joseph Lee, MD, president and CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. "We are deeply grateful to the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation for this generous investment in our plan to build more immersive and robust programming for children and families, and our shared long-term vision to empower recovery and well-being for all."
"I'm excited we are able to support the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Family Program, which gave me the tools I needed to foster positive, healthy relationships and helped me on my recovery journey," said Abby Moffat, chief executive officer and president of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. "Addiction affects entire families. And every family, in some way. This is why our Foundation is advancing Hazelden Betty Ford's efforts to help break the stigma and increase access to crucial resources for loved ones impacted by addiction. My mother and I are hopeful that this gift encourages others to step up and support families affected by this often-overlooked disease."
The philanthropic gift from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation comes amid record-high overdoses and rising alcohol-related deaths nationwide, as well as escalating mental health concerns on the tail of the pandemic. It will support programs and services for family members impacted by a loved one's substance use disorder, from children as young as 7 to spouses, parents, siblings, and others of any age.
Hazelden Betty Ford launched its first Family Program more than 50 years ago and its Children's Program 25 years ago. Both have been highly impactful and influential. Today, Hazelden Betty Ford offers a growing number of programming options to support family members affected by a loved one's addiction, including specific programs for Native Americans, Spanish speakers, adolescents, parents and people struggling to maintain healthy relationships. And its renowned Children's Program—which has been featured in award-winning projects by Sesame Street in Communities, Nickelodeon and PBS—offers help for kids ages 7-12.
"The people we serve love our family and children's services; they are truly transformative, and now, thanks to technology advancements and philanthropy led by this generous gift from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, we have the opportunity to do so much more," Dr. Lee said. "In our new National Center for Families and Children, we plan to innovate further and demonstrate through evidence-based research just how impactful these kinds of services are in creating better outcomes for the entire family. The reality is insurance doesn't cover family and children's services now, and that needs to change. By evolving our programs and demonstrating the results, we hope to influence the future for all families who need and deserve help."
The $10 million gift will provide initial funding to establish the Hazelden Betty Ford National Center for Families and Children. The Center will be the banner under which Hazelden Betty Ford launches a coordinated effort to innovate and expand family and children's services, research the efficacy, and ultimately advance a new standard of care in behavioral health focused on helping family members heal and be a positive force in their loved one's recovery. It will enable Hazelden Betty Ford, which is aiming to raise $100 million for the Center, to elevate its national voice as the pre-eminent leader in addiction and mental health family services.
According to the CDC, an estimated 40 million Americans experience substance use disorders annually, which means tens of millions of children, spouses, partners, parents and siblings experience the negative effects of a loved one's addiction, including emotional and mental distress, trauma, and sometimes financial and legal challenges as well.
"When my mother was in the grip of her addiction our entire family was affected, and when she found recovery, we needed to heal together," said Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Trustee Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former First Lady Betty Ford. "My mother believed strongly that every family and child affected by addiction deserves access to professional services. Her legacy lives on in the trailblazing spirit of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation and its CEO, Abby Moffat. I am so grateful for their commitment to breaking stigma and investment in helping heal families like ours."
Nationally, current care for families is fragmented and under-resourced. Providers report spending less than 10% of their time with families, while the societal cost of children whose parents struggle with addiction is projected to be $400 billion by 2030, including spending in health care, special education, child welfare, and criminal justice. The current system of care lacks distinct and cohesive services for families that are facing addiction and wanting to play a helpful role in their loved one's recovery, and such services are generally not covered by insurance.
"With the visionary leadership of dedicated supporters like the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, we are starting to realize a bold new vision – one where everyone has access to what is needed to support their own and their loved one's recovery from substance use disorders and mental health conditions," said Moira McGinley, Hazelden Betty Ford's chief transformation officer. "We are so grateful for their partnership and investment in the people we serve. They are a true force of healing and hope."
To learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by substance use disorders and mental health conditions, contact 1-888-535-9485 or Giving@HazeldenBettyFord.org.
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation espouses the values upon which our nation was founded: freedom and individual responsibility. The mission of the foundation is to promote national security, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, free enterprise, and to enhance quality of life by supporting the arts, education, global understanding, health advancements, and preservation of the environment.
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction. Learn more at HazeldenBettyFord.org and on Twitter.