Mental Health Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW: The Mental Health Foundation focuses its grantmaking on advocating for increased access to quality mental health care and reducing stigma for young people with mental health issues.

IP TAKE: This foundation wants to tear away timeworn stigmas associated with mental illness and zeroes in on ensuring that young people get the help they need. The Mental Health Foundation supports groups that fight continuing prejudices often associated with mental illness. Grantseekers are required to have a peer component to their programs if they want a chance at funding.

PROFILE: Established by the Mental Health Association in New York in 1998, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) would not become an independent entity until 2005. Since then, the foundation has been expanding its efforts to increase understanding of mental illness, to ensure access to quality care, and to reduce stigma. The foundation is also particularly concerned with the early diagnosis of mental illness, so young people are its single population focus.

As the largest generation in the United States ages, MHF says that its “vitally important” that millennials “have access to quality mental healthcare, the skills to cope with the stress and anxiety as well as resources,” to help them “handle our increasingly demanding world.”

MHF awards grants to organizations that are engaged in integrated access to existing mental health services for young people, anti-stigma activities, and integrating mental health care into existing social structures. MHF also requires that grantees have a peer element to their programs that involves young adults living with mental illness who can share their experiences with their peers in a positive way.

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant proposals, which should demonstrate a high level of “tangible impact” as well as an equally high potential for replicability. Proposal submission guidelines are subject to change and MHF encourages grantseekers to check its website to stay up-to-date with such changes.

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