Building on a Legacy of Healing

The Lutheran Foundation

church bulletin insert


member congregations

reintroduce The Lutheran Foundation and explain their new mental and behavioral health focus


In the early 1900s, Lutheran church leaders saw an urgent need for an additional hospital in Fort Wayne and envisioned a facility that would demonstrate Christ’s love by caring for and improving the health of the community.

In 1904, Lutheran Hospital opened and eventually grew into one of Indiana’s leading healthcare providers. It was sold in 1995 for $137 million and that formed the corpus of The Lutheran Foundation as it’s known today. Guided by our board of directors and delegates from our 95 member Lutheran congregations, we’ve since invested millions in grants to Lutheran churches, schools, and ministries as well as non-profit organizations aligned with our vision.

In 2013, The Lutheran Foundation worked with a research firm to assess the current state of well-being in the cities, towns, and rural communities we serve. It revealed a huge need in the areas of mental and behavioral health. Many of us are struggling, and worse, we don’t have access to information or know where to turn to for help.

Taking a page from the leaders whose vision created Lutheran Hospital, our board of directors refocused our mission to minister to Northeast Indiana by partnering with organizations committed to meeting the health needs of our community: mental, spiritual, and physical.

Mental illness affects us all.

Depression. Anxiety. Eating disorders. PTSD. Dementia. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, one in five Americans are dealing with some form of mental illness right now. Over the course of a person’s life, those odds increase to 50%. Add in those suffering from substance abuse disorders relating to alcohol, pain medication, and other drugs and the number climbs even higher.

Despite its prevalence, many of us still have misinformed assumptions about mental illness and the people it affects. Research has shown these are legitimate health issues caused by many contributing factors, including biology, trauma, and a family history of mental health problems.

The good news is that people dealing with mental health issues can get better and many recover completely. The Lutheran Foundation is committed to helping people in our community get the care they need and silencing the stigma surrounding mental illness.

That’s the purpose of our LOOK Up initiative, which launched last year at We’re also working with our member churches and area Lutheran schools to provide them with tool kits to better meet the mental health needs of the people they serve.

Share your story?

One of the biggest roadblocks to improving mental health is the stigma surrounding it. The best way to fight that is when individuals who’ve dealt with it share their stories, inspiring others to get help. If you’ve been impacted by mental health issues and would consider talking about it, please contact us at or call (260) 458-2112.