Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW: The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF) provides funding to programs that work to improve mental health treatment of returning U.S. military personnel suffering from mental disorders. 

IP TAKE: This foundation tends to offer substantial grant support to equally substantial organizations. Smaller outfits will have a difficult time attracting the funding attentions of BMSF.

PROFILE: The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, established in 1955, is the charitable giving arm of the Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical company. Its mental health giving is squarely focused on military vets, and works to strengthen community-based healthcare worker capacity, integrate medical care with community supportive services, and mobilize communities in the fight against mental illness. 

More specifically, the foundation supports “community-based solutions to aid in the much-needed response to the mental health and community reintegration needs of veterans, military service members, their families and the families of the fallen.”

What is perhaps unique about BMSF’s funding in this field is that it addresses the financial and legal needs of mental illness patients along with the improvement of care. Grant amounts are rather substantial, ranging from around $150,000 to over $1 million. Most grants are awarded to large institutions, including hospitals, research centers, and universities.

There are some caveats to the Foundation's funding for veterans that are important to keep in mind. While the Foundation's focus on the mental health treatment of U.S. military veterans sets it apart from most grantmakers, veterans' organizations themselves cannot receive funding. Only outside organizations seeking to address this rising concern may be eligible for those big monetary boosts. Projects involving medical research of mental disorders are also ineligible for grants.

Other areas of giving at BMSF require a bit more work, but applying for grants in the mental health arena is relatively easy. An online application is all you need to be on your way. Keep in mind that BMSF limits its grants to organizations and medical institutions; the Foundation does not award grants to individual medical professionals, researchers or scientists.

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