The Horizon Foundation is the largest independent health philanthropy in Maryland. We lead community change so everyone in Howard County can live a longer, better life. We are committed to improving health through our innovative initiatives, collaborative partnerships, strategic grantmaking and thoughtful advocacy. Our work is driven by the community’s needs, and shaped strategically around solutions that promise the greatest, lasting impact on physical and mental health in our community.
One in five adults in America experiences mental illness in a given year. Here in Howard County and across America, there remains a significant need for better access to mental health services. In 2015, Howard County residents made more than 2,000 emergency room visits related to a mental health condition―indicating that many community members aren’t receiving mental health care until it is an emergency.
Through a grant from the Foundation, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will be expanding school-based mental health services to a number of pilot schools this school year. The Foundation is eager to increase the likelihood that students and their families will seek help for mental health issues and ensure optimal awareness and utilization of the school-based mental health program where it exists.
Request for Proposals: Mental Health Outreach and Community Engagement
The Foundation seeks committed organizational partners to help increase Howard County parent and student awareness of the signs/symptoms of anxiety and depression. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues that concern parents.
The Foundation is also seeking organizational partners to help encourage and normalize help-seeking behavior related to mental health, address social and cultural stigmas that could prevent people from getting the help they need and further help parents learn about and take advantage of school-based mental health services in schools where they exist.
We recognize that taking on mental health outreach and education is a new space for many, so we are providing an opportunity to start the engagement process via two opportunities.
The Foundation seeks committed organizational partners to help increase Howard County parent and student awareness of the signs/symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Track 1 Grantees will be awarded $500 and will be expected to:
- Have at least one representative from their organization participate in a 2-hour Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training. The training is offered several times throughout 2019 to accommodate Grantee needs.
- Share monthly, Foundation-supplied and HCPSS approved, mental health awareness materials with organizational members (e.g., one page or less per month consisting of a blog post, graphic, etc.) which can be shared with members electronically via newsletters, member emails, etc. or via paper format.
- Promote at least one of four HCPSS co-sponsored, regional screenings of the movie “Angst.” You will not be required to host the film, just to promote it.
- “Angst” is a film where students reveal the realities of living with anxiety and depression and share their perspective of life through their eyes. It is a film that not only puts students at the forefront of sharing their stories but also helps parents recognize signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- This screening will be a large event for the greater community and the expectation is that each Grantee will encourage members to attend at least one of the showings.
If your organization is interested in more extensive involvement with mental health engagement and outreach, then there is an additional funding opportunity via Track 2.
The Foundation is also seeking organizational partners that will more extensively work with the Foundation to:
- Encourage and normalize help-seeking behavior related to mental health
- Address social and cultural stigmas that could prevent people from getting the help they need
- Further help parents learn about and take advantage of school-based mental health services in schools where they exist
Data indicates that people of color, especially Asian Americans, African Americans, and Latinos, receive treatment at disproportionally lower rates than White populations. Data also show that LGBTQ youth are at high risk of mental health challenges. The Foundation encourages proposals that are designed for these communities in addition to proposals that are designed for broad, diverse audiences. The Foundation also welcomes proposals that are tailored to either students, parents, or both age groups.
We recognize that different groups will have differing approaches to reaching these goals. The Foundation is open to however you suggest best utilizing the grant funds for this work. Some ideas might include holding movie showings at your congregation, creating a quarterly book club with your PTA, or offering a certified mental health training like QPR to your membership group. We also encourage you to consider evidence-based approaches where possible. However, we are open to your ideas on how best to reach the community.
Track 2 Grantees will be awarded up to $20,000 and will be required to:
- Meet the same criteria as listed in Track 1 above; and
- Perform the scope of work outlined in their proposal.
Grantee Commitment and Expectation
In addition to the requirements listed under each Track above, Grantees should also expect to:
- Attend two meetings throughout 2019 to better coordinate efforts with each other. See below for the first of these two meetings.
- Have occasional check-ins with Foundation staff as needed.
- Proposals will be accepted from organizations that aim to improve the health and wellness of those that live or work in Howard County, Maryland.
- Organizations must be: (a) tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)3 or be directly affiliated with a Howard County Public School that can receive funds on its behalf. Organizations include but are not limited to PTAs, community groups, faith-based groups, student groups with adult oversight, etc.
- For both Track 1 and Track 2 listed above, the grant period is for one year (January 1, 2019 thru December 31, 2019).
- If more than one organization affiliated with a single school applies for a Track 1 Grant, they will be asked to consolidate their requests.
How to Submit Proposals
All proposals must be submitted using our online grants system.
The deadline to submit the application is December 7, 2018. Proposals will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be notified no later December 28, 2018.
All newly awarded grantees will be expected to attend an orientation meeting on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Horizon Foundation, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Suite 200, Columbia, MD 21044. More information to follow.
Interested in learning more?
Please contact Senior Program Officer Tiffany Callender at TCallender@thehorizonfoundation.org or 443-766-1220.