June 1, 2020

New funding opportunity: Mental health grants up to $3,000 to protect the wellbeing of Howard County residents

New Funding Opportunity

Apply now for new mental health grants up to $3,000 to protect the wellbeing of Howard County residents

The Foundation recognizes we are living through an extraordinary time, and that this time will have an impact on the health and wellness of our community. While none of us knows the full effect COVID-19 will have on behavioral health, the Foundation is seeking partners to help mitigate the negative effects that social isolation and physical distancing may have on the emotional wellness of our residents.

Protective Mental Health Factors

Research shows that certain protective factors can help lessen the negative impact external factors have on mental health. For example, the presence of supportive family relationships has been shown to mitigate the negative effects of external stressors from our environment.

The COVID-19 era 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.

Grant Opportunity and Applicant Criteria

The Foundation is seeking partners to help protect and support mental health and wellness in the community. Specifically, we are seeking low-cost, creative solutions from organizations to help residents remain connected to one another and maintain a sense of community during this time of physical distancing and digital communication – and thus, help protect against the negative mental effects of our current environment.

Organizations can submit proposals to serve children and youth, adults, or both. Priority will be given to organizations serving individuals most impacted by social isolation and physical distancing guidelines.

Successful applicants will demonstrate a need for funding to implement creative and virtual (or appropriately physically distanced) ways to provide one or more of the following protective factors in their communities:

  • 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

An application might include, for example, a request for funding to purchase camera equipment to resume holding worship services over a digital platform; this request would successfully address the third protective factor listed above and allow congregants to reengage during this time of physical distancing.

Organizations should describe how they have already adapted programming to align with physical distancing guidelines, and how funding would build on their current state to better connect their members to one or more of the above protective factors. If an organization is not currently operating, the application should describe how funding will allow programming that will address one of the above protective factors to resume.

General operating requests not aligned with the above mental health protective factors will not be considered.

Grants up to $3,000 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.

Applications will be due on June 12. Award decisions will be made no later than June 19, 2020. The grant period will be from the award date through December 31, 2020.

Interested in learning more?

For questions about this RFP, contact Tiffany Callender at tcallender@thehorizonfoundation.org.

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