Art With Impact Issues a Call for Researchers on Mental Health Attitudes and Stigma

San Francisco-based nonprofit Art With Impact is making new, cutting-edge data available to social science researchers on American perceptions of mental illness, stigma and the arts.

Background: In November 2015 Art With Impact (AWI) collaborated with McQueen Mackin & Associates (MMA) to design and implement a national survey (data collected by YouGov) that explores American attitudes and opinions about the intersection of three social areas: mental health, the arts and philanthropy.

Art With Impact is making the questionnaire, raw data and summary data available to like-minded nonprofit organizations and relevant academic researchers in order to leverage this resource for maximum public knowledge and understanding.

Art With Impact is committed to maximizing collaboration between the arts and social movements by engaging professionals and academic institutions through sustainable partnerships and transparency of methods and outcomes.

Cary McQueen , Founder and Executive Director, Art With Impact

Content: The survey was completed by a nationally representative sample of 535 Americans and provides quantitative insight into the following:

  • 16 statements about reasons the respondent, personally, contributed money to a nonprofit organization(s) in the past year

  • 12 statements about the  importance of various aspects of the arts’ role in society

  • A definition of stigma followed by 8 statements about techniques that might be effective in reducing the stigma around mental illness

  • 30 attitude statements about mental health along a spectrum of stigma-informed positions, for example “the stereotypes surrounding people with mental illness are, unfortunately, mostly true” and “most mental health disorders are the results of a person’s genetics.”

  • Yes/no whether or not the respondent has struggled with his/her mental health and if so, open ended response for description

  • Whether or not the respondent knows someone who has struggled with their mental health and, if so, what is their relationship to that person

  • 12 true statements about mental health (for example, “people wait an average of 10 years before seeking treatment” or “early intervention greatly improves results), with respondents rating how “surprising” each of the facts are, and how “compelling,” they are with respect  inspiring them “to support the mission of a nonprofit organization”

  • Complete demographic and media consumption profiles for each respondent

Interested researchers should contact Cary McQueen at or 415.420.4932. All analysis and publications that result from this data must credit Art With Impact.

This project was made possible by Josh McQueen and Chris McQueen: McQueen Mackin and Associates designed the survey and completed the analysis pro-bono. The McQueen Family Foundation funded all data collection and out-of-pocket expenses.