RADical Hope and New York University Pilot Groundbreaking Campus Wellness Program

American Business Leaders Larry Bossidy & Ken Langone Join Forces to Address Growing Youth Mental Health Crisis


RADical Hope to Scale Skill-Based Program to Schools Across the Country

New York, N.Y. (October, 27, 2020) RADical Hope today announced the launch of RADical Health, a skill-based program to help first-year college students stay well and stay resilient. RADical Health, developed in partnership with New York University (NYU), launched at NYU on October 12, 2020. Following the pilot, RADical Hope will scale the program to other college and university campuses across the country.

Anxiety, depression, suicide, substance use disorder and other diseases of despair have been soaring among young Americans — and that was before Covid-19, which is further exacerbating feelings of emotional isolation. Young people are particularly vulnerable during times of transition.

RADical Health was developed with a single goal: Teach students fundamental skills to build resilience and support their own mental, physical and emotional health so they’re equipped to cope before they reach a crisis point. As part of orientation, first-year students are organized into small groups under the direction of trained faculty and staff. Students are introduced to  a series of inspirational interviews, featuring notable leaders and advocates, including: New York Times bestselling author Glennon Doyle; U.S. Olympic and World Champion Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad; actress, playwright, and NYU Professor Anna Deavere-Smith; sports and business leader Matt Higgins; singer, songwriter, producer and founder of the Blue Boy Foundation Lauv; co-founders of NYU’s Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership Imam Khalid Latif and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, and Social and Criminal Justice Advocate Dr. Patrice Palmer. The interviews are coupled with concrete resources and weekly group discussions designed to create safe, inclusive spaces where students can connect with peers and engage on subject topics and learned skills. RADical Health also serves as an on-ramp for students to other resources and campus activities.

“RADical Hope was established after the tragic suicide of my grandson, Chris Martin, an aspiring junior at Gonzaga University,” said RADical Hope Chairman and retired U.S. corporate executive Larry Bossidy. “Radical Hope and NYU are responding to an urgent need to support students as they begin a critical chapter in their lives. Together, we have developed a skill-based wellness program aligned with Radical Hope’s mission priorities: Connectivity, engagement, emotional intelligence and empowerment.”

Business leader, philanthropist, and RADical Hope supporter Ken Langone shared, “In many cases, we’re all surprised when we find out a dear friend’s child took his life, because we assumed everything was okay. So what we’re trying to do is to put our human antennae out to make sure — even if it’s just one person who hears it — there’s a place to go; there’s a place to open up your heart; there’s a place to open up your mind; there’s a place to reach out for help and not feel stigmatized. This is the challenge for all of us, and let us not fail. The cause is noble and the need is great.” Mr. Langone received an MBA from NYU and is a major benefactor to the University and to the NYU Langone Medical Center.

“Now more than ever, students arrive on college campuses needing guidance in mental, physical, and emotional health skills to assist in their transition and set them on a course for fulfilling lives,” said RADical Hope CEO Liz Feld. “This need is particularly pressing due to elevated anxiety, stress and depression related to COVID-19. Our foundational partnership with NYU will provide the blueprint for us to help students on campuses across America.”

“Students know how to ‘do’ school. So why, then, are so many college students suffering from crippling depression and anxiety? RADical Health aims to do what no school, university, or parent typically does. It will teach students to ask for help before getting to the brink. It can help students not only survive, but thrive,” said Dr. Linda Mills, Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice Provost for Global Programs and University Life at NYU.

NYU is a leading model for comprehensive college mental health and health services, including an emergency response team, an award-winning counseling center, and a 24/7 hotline and mobile app. NYU has also led the way in preventing mental distress on campus, including the creation of the largest campus-based mindfulness initiative in the country. The RADical Health pilot is being administered through NYU’s Residence Life Office.


About RADical Hope

RADical Hope seeks to address America’s youth mental health crisis by building resilience in young lives. The Foundation works with proven, frontline engagement programs that deliver on its core priorities: connectivity, empowerment, emotional regulation and engagement. It was established in 2018 by Pam and Phil Martin in honor of their son, Chris, who died by suicide in the Fall of 2017 during his junior year of college.