Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, government agencies, faith-based entities, and schools in eligible locations for collaborative efforts to address mental health needs during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to applying. Funding is intended for projects and activities that demonstrate a partnership and have a community impact. Eligible proposals improve behavioral health systems in Essex County.
The Foundation seeks to develop, test, or scale solutions that can improve the local Behavioral Health sector by working collectively to identify the root causes that lead to health issues and systemic barriers to care. The goal of this work is to redistribute and reallocate assets; to reimagine and reinvent how to do things; and reskill and rebuild the workforce. This will be an opportunity to collectively co-invest in ideas that address the following from a systems perspective:Greater access to services that are culturally relevant and meet people where they areReduce barriers to access such as but not limited to transportation, language, or stigmaGreater integration of behavioral health services in housing, healthcare, and food securityAn improved or expanded workforce by collaborating with local higher education, medical institutions, and advocacy efforts for more sustainable wages and benefits.ECCF understands the data that those most impacted by behavioral health challenges include Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrant populations, youth, elderly, those with physical and intellectual disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, and others living in poverty. These populations, due to racial and systemic inequity, stand to suffer disproportionately due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, and therefore proposals that address these populations will receive special consideration.Given the large number of expected applications, the most competitive proposals will include one or more of the following:The application is grounded in data and can clearly outline the ability to impact people in Essex County (whether in one or more communities in Essex County or County-wide)Prioritize seniors, communities of color, youth, immigrants, individuals with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, or other co-occurring conditions and other vulnerable populations.This work, while focusing on the most vulnerable, has the intention of being able to work with all communities across Essex County, not just the six gateway cities. ECCF recognizes the disparities that are very present in some rural communities and other “non-gateway” communities.The grant-funded proposal addresses multiple social determinants of health such as the impact of race and ethnicity and the impacts on the brain due to poverty and trauma.The application can leverage additional resources (private, local/state/federal) that can extend these grant dollars.The application can improve behavioral health while advancing economic and workforce solutions.