The Mental Health Initiative—part of the Open Society Public Health Program—provides grants to projects that stimulate the reform of national health, social welfare, education, and employment policies. The initiative also provides technical assistance and training in substantive areas to its grantees. Many grantees provide high-quality, community-based services which demonstrate that people with intellectual disabilities can live in their communities when they receive appropriate support.
The initiative's funding strategy is geared toward the sustainable development of quality community-based alternatives to institutionalization for people with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems and toward the development of government policies that promote the social inclusion of people with disabilities. Accordingly, the initiative provides funding to organizations that focus on community-living, deinstitutionalization, and prevention of institutionalization.
The Mental Health Initiative supports projects that include community-based housing, early intervention, inclusive education, and supported employment for people with intellectual disabilities. The initiative also provides support for organizations working on policy-based advocacy at local or national levels with the aim of promoting community living for people with intellectual disabilities.
The Mental Health Initiative provides funding to nongovernmental organizations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, or to organizations based in other countries that focus their activities in this region.
The Mental Health Initiative does not fund projects which are in any way connected to increasing the capacity of, or to improving, residential institutions for people with disabilities. This includes renovations or any other upgrades, equipment, charitable contributions or humanitarian aid, events organized within an institution, and any other form of core support to residential institutions.
The Mental Health Initiative has an open pre-application process. If your organization's work falls clearly within the funding guidelines above and you would like to be considered for an invitation to submit a full proposal, please write a one-page letter which contains the following information:
- The organization's purpose and goals
- The project for which funding is requested
- The amount of funding requested
- The organization's total income in the last financial year
- Some biographical details of the organization's leadership