New Grand Challenges Canada Request for Proposals: Global Mental Health Seed Funding

Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) is dedicated to supporting ‘bold ideas with big impact’ and funds innovators in low and middle-income countries and Canada.

The Global Mental Health Seed Funding initiative is delivered by GCC and forms part of the GCC Global Mental Health Program. It is supported by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The aim is to provide seed funding to scale-up high-impact innovations and demonstrate proof-of-concept to help young people’s mental health.

It is recognised that poor mental health affects the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. While low resource populations bear 75% of the global burden of mental illness, only about 10% of their mental health needs are met. COVID-19 has added to this burden, heightening the need for accessible mental health support.

This Global Mental Health Seed Funding request for proposals wishes to fund bold ideas that meet the mental health needs of the most vulnerable young people (aged 10 to 24). Statistics show that 75% of all mental health disorders begin before the age of 24.

GCC is seeking innovative approaches to enhance mental health literacy and/or provide youth-friendly services while accounting for the complex social and environmental factors that contribute to young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Approaches should be culturally sensitive and community driven, and must engage young people with lived experiences from the outset.

Innovations should address the ongoing and persistent mental health needs of the most vulnerable young people. They must be bold, innovative, transformational and accessible, and have the potential to be sustainable at scale. Ideas should seek to do one or more of the following:

Support community environments that promote mental wellbeing throughout adolescence.

Creatively approach mental health literacy and psychosocial education, working to embed mental health understanding in the broader community.

Provide effective and affordable youth-friendly community-based care and rehabilitation.

Foster resilience and advance mental disorder prevention and mental health promotion.

Integrate mental health services and/or wellbeing interventions into existing education systems.

Address the mental health needs of young people exposed to violence, with a trauma informed approach.

Inventively leverage technology that is highly used and trusted by young people.

The scheme is open to social enterprises and other recognised institutions (eg academic institutions, non-profit organisations and for-profit companies) that are formed and legally incorporated, that can successfully execute the activities in their respective technical area, and that are capable of receiving and administering grant funding.

Applicants must be based in the UK, Canada or an Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible low and middle-income country. Applicants from the UK or Canada must be implementing their project in low and middle-income countries (as listed in Appendix A of the request for proposals).

Successful proposals will receive seed grants of up to CAD $250,000 over 18 to 24 months to develop and test their proposed innovation. If enough proposals of merit are presented, GCC will award around 15 seed grants in this round.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 17 July 2020 (15:00 EST).

Proposals must be submitted via GCC’s online Fluxx Portal. Applicants are required to register for a Fluxx account no later than 9 July 2020.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.