"If you had a friend or a loved one who could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, would you go and sit with them in the dark?"



The Quell Foundation strives to reduce the number of suicides, overdoses and incarcerations of people with mental health illness. We work to accomplish this by encouraging people to share their stories, increasing access to mental health services, providing a pipeline of future mental health care professionals with scholarships, and training first responders to recognize mental health crisis warning signs amongst their own.

Ruling year info


Founder, President & CEO

Kevin M Lynch

Main address

P.O. Box 1924


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NTEE code info

Mental Health Association, Multipurpose (F80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Quell Foundation addresses the following access barriers to treatment for mental health issues: Social stigma around mental health Shortage of mental health care providers – MHCP’s By eliminating the stigma around mental health issues, individuals are more inclined to seek treatment and less likely to engage in self-medicating behaviors. This alone will reduce the number of suicides, overdoses and incarceration of people living with a mental health illness. When we are successful in normalizing the conversation, a greater demand is placed on the current dearth of providers. This workforce shortage increasingly becomes another parallel problem to address. Expanding the feeder system of MHCP’s, will increase care access points and decrease the deleterious outcomes consistent with excessive wait times. In the U.S., 77% of counties have a shortage of mental health professionals. Providers are needed to not only replace our aging population of MHCP’s, but to grow with future demand.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Quell Scholars

We believe education is key to understanding, supporting, and generating awareness of the mental health issues millions of people face today. We offer the following scholarships to further spread our message:

Bridge the Gap Award-Eligibility extends to 3rd and 4th year undergraduates and graduate students pursuing degrees related to the provisions of mental health care from any accredited college/university within the United States.

Fighter Award-Eligibility extends to undergraduate and graduate students who live with a documented mental health illness, pursuing degrees in any field from any accredited college/university within the United States.

Survivor Award-Eligibility extends to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing any degree from any accredited college/university within the United States who have lost a parent or sibling to suicide.

Population(s) Served

Through vivid storytelling and direct testimony, The Quell Foundation's Lift the Mask documentary takes us into the lives of a diverse group of people living with mental illness and the people who provide much of their care.

The stories reveal systemic problems facing people who struggle with mental health. They discuss how the criminal justice system is ill-prepared and under-resourced to help those who end up in court or incarcerated primarily due to mental illness. They tell of the difficulty of finding and maintaining medications that work and getting access to proper and timely treatment, often due to a severe shortage of mental health providers. They tell of how family and friends struggled to understand and finally came to understand them.

The film focuses on the lived experiences of each subject, some of whom are “lifting the mask” by telling their stories publicly for the first time. Stories like these are so often hidden due to the social stigma that labels people as “crazy” or “scary,” and the film intends to open up and normalize a dialogue about mental health.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amount of scholarship distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Quell Scholars

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Cumulative dollar amount of scholarships distributed.

Total number of screenings held

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Lift the Mask: Portraits of Life with Mental Illness

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Quell Scholars

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Quell Foundation is a nationally acclaimed not-for-profit mental health organization known for turning advocacy into statistical change through our prestigious scholarship program and educational documentary series.

The Quell Foundation was founded to normalize the conversation and reduce the stigma around having an illness of the brain. We work to reduce the number of suicides overdoses, and the incarceration of people who live daily with the challenges that come with having a mental health illness by giving them hope, understanding, and acceptance.

We accomplish this by:

Encouraging people to share their stories of living with a mental health condition
Increasing access to mental health services by developing a feeder system of future mental health care professionals and providing them with academic scholarships
Training our first responder community to recognize signs of mental health distress among their own

Core to our Foundation is the belief that sharing our stories will help others. We’ve shared stories on our website and at our events. For those of us that have experienced mental illness or the effects of it, these stories offer a sense of solace, community, and hope. The Quell Foundation has printed 2500 books containing the stories of our mental health partners. These are distributed free to all attendees at our documentary screenings

The Quell Foundation is increasing the number of mental health professionals in the United States through our prestigious scholarship program. According to the NIMH, 1 in 5 people live with a mental illness. The current average wait time to see a psychiatrist is 25 – 42 days. We know conclusively that in the absence of treatment, people will self-medicate.

As of June 2020, the Quell Foundation has distributed $1.8m in scholarships to students living with a diagnosed mental health illness; students who have lost a parent or sibling to suicide, and to students who are studying to be our next generation of mental health professionals. We have scholarship recipients in 49 states attending more than 450 Universities.

Our documentary, “Lift the Mask Portraits of Life with Mental Illness” has been screened by corporations, universities, and government agencies across the country. We have secured an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval through The Penn State Hershey Medical Center to conduct a national study of the film's efficacy in positively influencing attitudes, beliefs and understanding of mental health. We have collected 5 quarters of deidentified data for the period ending December 2019. Primary investigator Dr. Kristen Sznajder has indicted statistically significant changes. Four peer-reviewed manuscripts are being developed.

A second documentary on our nation’s first responders is currently being developed. This population of public servants currently have the sixth highest rate of suicide by profession.


For the past several years, The Quell Foundation has been screening our Lift the Mask: Portraits of Life with Mental Illness documentary across the United States. Individuals in this documentary share their stories living with mental health issues to normalize the conversation.

The Quell Foundation’s “I AM” campaign gives people the opportunity to change the image of mental health stigma by sharing their own experiences. In other words, this campaign is an opportunity to take the next step; it allows individuals to say, “The change that is needed starts with me.”

Finally, as part of its prestigious scholarship program, The Quell Foundation offers the Fighter Scholarship to students living with mental health illness, and the Survivor Scholarship to students who have lost a loved one to suicide. The Quell Foundation supports Quell scholars through its scholarship program to further execute its mission to destigmatize mental health, as it encourages students to share their stories living with mental health issues.

These projects give survivors and people who have lost others to a mental health illness a place to share their stories. These stories destigmatize mental health issues and help normalize the conversation surrounding mental health issues.

Strategies to address the mental healthcare workforce development:

To increase the number of clinicians in the mental health field, The Quell Foundation awards the Bridge the Gap Scholarship as part of The Quell Foundation’s prestigious scholarship program. This award is given to students pursuing an undergraduate, graduate degree in fields of study related to the provision of mental health services. This scholarship was established to “Bridge the Gap” in the dearth of mental health care providers. Seventy-seven percent of all U.S. Counties have been designated shortage areas. This meant there is less than one mental health professional for every thirty-thousand (1:30000) people within a population group. Currently, 64% of all licensed psychiatrists are over the age of 58. They are aging out of the system without replacement.

The Quell Foundation has created a career mentoring program to provide support, advice, and outreach to students and recent graduates who are in pursuit of a career or internship opportunities. This program serves as an opportunity to expand benefits to our scholarship recipients and offers an outlet for involvement in our mission to passionate individuals and employees of our corporate sponsors. Mentors assist and connect scholarship recipients and alumni by pairing them with a mentor who has some measure of experience in the field.

In order to accomplish its goals, The Quell Foundation relies on partnerships, financial support, leadership, and awareness and fundraising events to help further execute its mission.

Institutional partnerships:
• Pennsylvania State University
• Nova Southeastern University
• Becker College
• The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod
• University of Minnesota
• Stable Place Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
• Hershey Medical Center manuscript development
• Innovatel Health

Financial support:
• AbleTo
• AmerisourceBergan
• The Aetna Foundation
• Catasys
• CVS Health
• Forefront Healthcare
• Magellan Health, Inc.
• Mckinsey & Company
• The Kennedy Forum
• U.S. Bancorp
• Zudy

• Board of Directors – Seven-member board
Composed of senior executives in the fields of Telehealth, Healthcare, Finance, Community Relations,
Marketing and Business Law.
• Executive Advisory Board – Six-member board
Oversight of program development and market research
• Junior Board of Directors – Twenty-member board
Comprised of appointed current and alumni Quell scholarship recipients
Work toward engaging students and supporters and help to conduct the Foundation’s mission initiatives
through leadership and volunteerism
• Internship program: Ten Internships
Summer 2020: Working to research, develop and present strategy plans for:
• Frontline Healthcare Professional Podcast; Lift the Mask, Voices of Heroes in the Silent Pandemic
• Grant Submission & GuideStar Accreditation
• Prestigious Residency Program
• Second book Lift the Mask: Stories of Life with Mental Illness
• Virtual Fundraising – Masquerade Ball at Home Edition
• Op/Ed and research

Awareness and Fundraising events:
• Masquerade Ball
• Falmouth Road Race
• New York Marathon
• Boston Marathon
• San Antonio, TX “Glow On” fun run
• Heels With Hope Women’s Conference

Speaking engagements:
• Panel II: Deepening the Conversation on Mental Health, Making Health Care Better, The White House
• Commencement Speaker, Pennsylvania State University College of Health and Human Development
• Quartet’s Prestigious Speakers Series
• The Higher Education Suicide Prevention Conference
• Mental Health America National Conference Presentation

What we have accomplished so far:
Scholarship Program
The Quell Foundation provides scholarships to students attending over 450 colleges and universities across 49 states. Currently, The Quell Foundation has distributed over $1.8 million in scholarships.

Lift the Mask, Portraits of Life with Mental Illness Documentary
The Quell Foundation's educational documentary, "Lift the Mask - Portraits of Life with Mental Illness," is part of a national study to determine the efficacy of the film's ability to positively influence behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs around mental health. The study has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from The Pennsylvania State University. The Lead Investigator (LI) is a respected epidemiologist with the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The documentary has been screened at locations across the country, including university campuses, government agencies, and corporate wellness events. In the first five quarters, there were 3,100 registered attendees, of which 47.3% participated in a prescreening survey (national average response rate is < 27%). The post-screening participation was well above the national average, with a 42.3% response rate. Data frequencies collected are currently being analyzed. The study is anticipated to produce 4-5 manuscripts including one on public perception of mental health directly following a massacre (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL). A second documentary addressing the deterioration of mental health in our nation's First Responder community is currently in production.

Equine-Assisted Therapy Program
Started in 2018, in partnership with Nova Southeastern University, The Quell Foundation funded a program measuring the effectiveness of equine therapy facilitated for at-risk youth under the guardianship of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Masquerade Ball
Each year, The Quell Foundation hosts a charitable Masquerade Ball to raise nearly $1M for our programs and reduce the stigma of mental health illness through individual storytelling.

Falmouth Road Race
Every year, The Quell Foundation participates in the Falmouth Road Race to spread the word about The Quell Foundation, and our mission to further reduce the stigma around mental health. Every year, multiple runners participate for The Quell Foundation who support our mission and help us raise money.

What's Next:
Lift the Mask Book
A book featuring the stories and experiences of individuals living with mental health illness.

Second Documentary
A sequel to our Lift the Mask, Portraits of Life with Mental Illness documentary that focuses on the experiences of first responders, who are currently experiencing the 6th highest suicide rate by occupation

Lift the Mask: Voices of Heroes in the Silent Pandemic Podcast
A podcast that will host first responders and medical professionals who will share their COVID-19 experiences with a psychiatrist.

Residency program
Funding a residency program.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We developed a corporate awareness program from feedback from our corporate sponsors. Other changes include the peer to peer program for our scholarship program and career mentoring for our graduating scholarship recipients.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 1/7/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Brown

Mike Brown, Esq.

Reba Dominski

U.S. Bancorp

Carrah Kalat


Rob Rebak

Forefront Telecare, Inc.

John Stanley

MOD Worldwide

Lauren Webb

Mindoula Health

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/27/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data