Giving Compass' Take:

• Amplifier Strategies CEO Allison Duncan discusses the importance of treating mental health for young people with more compassion, and opening up the pockets of philanthropy to deal with the crisis.

• Now that there are more evidence-based approaches to tackling the issue of trauma, nonprofits across a variety of sectors have the opportunity to make an impact. Are we devoting enough resources?

• For an example of how mental health sensitivity can be put into action, here's how a trauma-informed approach helps kids with behavioral disorders.

Certain causes raise money more easily and receive much more support than others. According to Giving USA’s latest report, philanthropy in America tops more than $390 billion. Of this amount, $123 billion or thirty two percent went to religious institutions and fifteen percent or $60 billion went to education. Its clear from these statistics that Americans give generously to causes that are close to their hearts and apart of everyday life, with one stark exception  —  our own mental health.

Inside Philanthropy reports that even with the launch of multiple public campaigns aimed at raising mental health awareness, individual gifts toward mental illness still lags significantly behind other areas of health-related giving. Funding for mental health related programs has struggled to keep up with the same growth trend as philanthropy and has been tapering off significantly since 2011.

Stigma is a powerful force working to divide us and limits the generosity that is directed to an issue area that is affecting the fabric of our society and most of our everyday lives.

When it comes to mental health, we all have a personal story to tell. Statistically one in four Americans will personally deal with some type of mental illness in their lifetime and almost everyone will have a family member suffering from mental illness. This is a growing public health epidemic that spares no social class, ethnicity or geography. And it may be the biggest opportunity to turn the tide on the deeper costs of incarceration, drug addiction and poverty.

Read the full article about removing the stigma of mental health by Amplifier Strategies CEO Allison Duncan at