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About HBGI

Mental and neurological illnesses are the world’s biggest unmet medical need, affecting 1 in 4 people and resulting in $3 trillion in annual global costs. In low and middle income countries, more than 75% of people with mental health conditions receive no treatment, amounting to a global burden that has been exacerbated by COVID-19. However, these massive costs mean that investing in addressing brain health is highly cost-effective: US$1 invested for depression and anxiety alone returns US$3-5 in better health and ability to work.

Co-Chaired by One Mind Chairman Garen Staglin and President of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine Victor Dzau, HBGI is a collaboration between global leaders in neuroscience, policy, and finance. The coalition aims to leverage innovative investment approaches to improve the lives of people affected by neurological and mental health challenges. Planning efforts for this initiative are currently underway with a formal launch planned for 2021.

HBGI’s Interim Board includes representation from the ministries of health in Rwanda and Singapore, the Wellcome Trust, Johnson & Johnson, Google’s X (the Moonshot Factory), the University of New South Wales, and the community groups Ganizo (Zambia) and Tarakī (U.K.). Acting as Interim CEO is Brad Herbert, who brings more than 40 years’ experience in international development, including as the first Chief of Operations at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, where he was responsible for setting up the organization’s multi-billion-dollar grant program in over 130 countries.

HBGI will also feature a Lived Experience Council to guide leadership in creating sustainable structures that ensure meaningful lived experience interaction throughout the organization.

Learn more at HBGI.org

Young adult woman

Initial Research Focus: Brain development and disorders in young adults

While HBGI will eventually address brain health conditions across the lifespan, the initial focus will be on the developing brains of people from ages 10-29.

Studies suggest that ¾ of mental health problems emerge and key neurological conditions can take root during adolescence and young adulthood, highlighting a clear need for brain health research specific to this age range. Despite this need, there has historically been less investment in research for this age range than for their younger or older counterparts.

Collaborators, Advisors, and Sponsors

Bank of America, a market leader in social bonds and underwriter of nearly US$30 billion in COVID-19-related bonds, is HBGI’s lead underwriter.

I commend HBGI for thinking creatively not only about new science but new funding strategies from bonds to direct investments in this transformational global fund.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Director-General, World Health Organization