• Dave Nee Foundation Dave Nee Foundation


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Mission Statement

The Dave Nee Foundation’s mission is to eliminate the stigma associated with depression and suicide by promoting and encouraging not only the diagnosis and treatment of depression among young adults, but also the education of young people, their families, and friends about the disease of depression.

We believe that a principal reason for the high suicide rate in the United States is a glaring lack of sufficiently candid discussion about, and early treatment of, depression. We hope to spread the message that depression and thoughts of harming oneself are common and that treatment for depressed and suicidal thoughts must become socially acceptable.


The Dave Nee Foundation structures its work within the following framework, which is realized in the program areas described in depth below. Our theory of change follows a line of thinking that, as a small organization, with a bold and important mission; we will not be successful going it alone. We recognize our strengths and seek to leverage our talents in the following areas; helping to advance the conversation on depression, mental illness and help seeking.

  • Scholarship: Research, knowledge sharing, convening and connecting practitioners from different sectors
  • Education: Uncommon Counsel, Law LifeLine, Starr Initiative on Character and Fitness
  • Network building: Grant making through Beacon of Hope program, partnering across sectors, joining suicide prevention efforts, law school, legal profession, anti-stigma efforts

Program Areas

Uncommon Counsel: Through partnerships with law schools, professional associations, and lawyers assistance programs, Dave Nee Foundation staff members give presentations to law students and legal professionals, participate in panel discussions, and present information and resources to law students about mental health issues and how to get help.

Beacon of Hope Grants Program: This is an annual competitive grant program for small nonprofits working with adolescents in the area of depression awareness and suicide prevention.

Starr Initiative on Character and Fitness: A new program of the Dave Nee Foundation, the initiative is a both a grassroots movement building project, and a policy and advocacy initiative geared to address the intrusive questions regarding an individual’s mental health history as they seek admission to various state bars.

LawLifeline: An accessible and confidential online mental health resource for law students, it offers general information regarding mental health issues as well as specific resources and services available to students in their communities. The site also features online assessment and screening tools for depression. LawLifeline was created in partnership with the Jed Foundation.



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