October 8, 2020

Mental health funding available to protect the wellbeing of Howard County residents

The Horizon Foundation releases additional mental health funding to protect the wellbeing of Howard County residents

Our community continues to face significant mental health challenges. Reports of depression and sadness among our County’s youth continue to rise. It is also projected that mental health needs will increase in the near future given the stressors of our current climate.

The Foundation is committed to increasing mental health awareness and addressing social and cultural stigmas that prevent people from getting the help they need. We also recognize that COVID has introduced several mental health risk factors into our daily lives, including economic challenges, fears about the future, lack of social connections and physical isolation.

Research shows that having strong community connections can lessen the negative impact external factors have on mental health – but maintaining these connections can be particularly difficult during COVID. And these new mental health needs come in addition to the mental health challenges one in five adults already experiences.

Community Engagement Mental Health Grants

The Foundation is seeking organizational partners to help promote mental health awareness and maintain the vital community connections that protect the emotional health and wellness of our residents. The goal is to reduce stigma around seeking help, share information about available resources, and find ways to maintain social connections.

Grant Opportunity and Applicant Criteria

Organizations can serve children and youth, adults, or both. Successful applicants will demonstrate a commitment to the following criteria:

  • Maintain Protective Factors – grantees will identify how they plan to maintain virtual or appropriately distanced (per state and county restrictions) social connections between community members in one or more of these areas:
    • Physical: Creating opportunities for residents to engage in exercise or physical activity
    • Personal: Educating residents on how to build coping and problem solving skills; or helping youth connect with mentors who align with their skills and interests
    • Social: Creating spaces for residents to engage with school communities and classmates, peers, co-workers/employers, faith groups, and/or cultural groups
  • Attend Training
    • Have at least two representatives from their organization (or their organization’s network) participate in a Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training, Mental Health First Aid or Youth Mental Health First Aid. The trainings will be offered virtually several times throughout 2021. Previously awarded grantees should ensure at least one new individual participates in a training.
  • Raise Awareness
    • Share information (at least bi-monthly) with their members about the Foundation’s “Emotional Support Human” mental health awareness campaign. This can be done, for example, through social media posts or including a mention of the campaign in an e-newsletter. The Foundation will provide periodic toolkits of content that Grantees can use to share with members electronically, in emails, on paper, etc.
  • Engage with other partners
    • Have at least one member from the organization participate in the Foundation’s grantee learning sessions that will be held during the year. All sessions will be offered with a virtual option if/until a safe in-person meeting is possible. Learning sessions will be held no more than quarterly.
  • Report back
    • Complete a short quarterly report about how your organization has reached out the community.

Grants of up to $1,250 will be awarded. Organizations must be tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)3, or directly affiliated with a Howard County Public School that can receive funds on its behalf. Multiple requests from the same organization will be reviewed collectively as one application.

The grant period will be from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

How to Submit Proposals

All proposals must be submitted using our online grants system.

The deadline to submit the application is November 11, 2020 (11:59 PM).  Proposals will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be notified no later than November 20, 2020. Award notifications will be sent via email to the email address listed in the grant application.

Log in to our online grants system and select “2020 Community Engagement Mental Health Grant” to submit your application.

Interested in learning more?

For questions about this RFP, contact Rashel Taylor at rtaylor@thehorizonfoundation.org

For help navigating the grant system or submitting the application, contact Kenitra Fokwa at kfokwa@thehorizonfoundation.org