Naomi Ruth Cohen Charitable Foundation Finds New Home at TCS
Cohens and President Horowitz Announce New Institute for Mental Health Education
After years of working together to help families touched by the stigma of mental illness, Lawrence and Marilyn Cohen of Evanston, Ill., and Chicago School President Michael Horowitz announce the creation of the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Named in honor of the Cohens’ daughter, who took her life in May 2000, the institute will carry the tradition of advocacy and education began by the Lawrence and Marilyn when they established Naomi Ruth Cohen Charitable Foundation in 2002. By moving the foundation’s assets under the stewardship of The Chicago School, the Cohens have made the largest gift in the school’s near 30 year history.
|Mr. Cohen at The Chicago School Board Meeting|
In its new home, the institute will continue to fulfill its educational mission through conferences, workshops, the perpetuation of an annual fellowship for a TCS clinical psychology student, and a variety of other educational activities.
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to benefit from the professionalism The Chicago School has to offer,” said Mr. Cohen to the school’s Board of Trustees in October. “Our organizations have parallel missions making the partnership symbiotic; it will mean permanence and stability for our educational activities, and it will mean extending the reach of what you do.”
The collaboration between The Chicago School and the Cohens spans nearly a decade. Faculty members from the Clinical Psy.D. Department have been active participants in the foundation’s conferences since they began. The school’s Center for Latino Mental Health has teamed with the family to sponsor a workshop that targeted mental health issues in the Latino community, while other conferences have focused on the unique needs of African-Americans, women and girls, children and adolescents, and adults over 50.
“This gift is an indication that others in the community share The Chicago School vision and understand that, working together, we can accomplish so much more,” President Horowitz said in acknowledging the Cohens’ gift. “We are grateful to Larry and Marilyn for entrusting us with the foundation they have created, and for joining with us in the
ongoing challenges of addressing mental illness.”
The announcement of the institute comes at a time when the need for advocacy is great. According to World Health Organization reports, four of the 10 leading causes of disability throughout developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, illness classified as Major Depressive will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children. According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, one in five families are touched by a mental illness with more than 2 million Americans struggling with bipolar disorder, which puts them at higher risk for suicide if they are not getting treatment they need.
The Cohens will remain active with the new institute, serving as chair and vice chair respectively. Jill Randell, who has served as administrator of the foundation since its inception, will continue as executive director.
“We talk about the ripples one little pebble can create,” Mr. Cohen said. “Our hope is that this gift and this partnership will result in ripples that can help many people dealing with the realities of mental illness.”