Mental Health Initiative

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, and employment policies. The initiative also provides technical assistance and training in substantive areas to its grantees. Many grantees provide quality, community-based services, demonstrating that people with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities can live in their communities when they receive support that meets their needs.

The initiative's funding strategy is geared toward the development of sustainable, quality community-based alternatives to institutionalization for people with intellectual disabilities and/or psychosocial disabilities, 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 the prevention of institutionalization.

Eligibility Criteria

The Mental Health Initiative supports projects that promote the social inclusion of adults with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities, and provides support for organizations working on policy-based advocacy at local or national levels to promote deinstitutionalization and community living. The initiative currently works in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Macedonia, Myanmar, Romania, and Slovakia.

Ineligibility Criteria

The Mental Health Initiative does not support projects that are in any way connected to increasing the capacity of, or improving, residential institutions for people with disabilities to continue to operate as residential institutions. This includes renovations or any other upgrades, purchase of equipment, charitable contributions or humanitarian aid, events organized within institutions, and any other form of support, other than assisting them with deinstitutionalization and the development of community-based services.

Guidelines

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 of intent containing 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

Please send your letter of inquiry via email to [email protected]. In the subject line, write your organization’s name and the country in which the work will take place.