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Building Healthy Communities: Behavioral Health Initiative

Applications closed on Wednesday, December 7 – thank you to all who applied. Awards will be announced in early February.

Open Call Grant Opportunity

On Oct. 26, 2022, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Health Chief Executive Officer Israel Rocha, and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) Chief Operating Officer Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, announced at a press conference that CCDPH will be awarding over $14 million in grant funding across four years to expand mental health and substance use prevention, treatment and support in suburban Cook County.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to the well-being of all Cook County residents,” said President Preckwinkle. “This investment in behavioral health as part of our Building Health Communities Initiative ensures that we’re taking a holistic approach to healthcare that prioritizes mental health, as well as physical health.”

Grants will range from $250,000 to over $1 million each, and are part of the Building Healthy Communities Behavioral Health Initiative, funded under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“The vision of achieving health equity for all residents of Cook County drives all of our work. This grant program will allow us to support organizations in effecting positive change and implementing behavioral health strategies at the community level in areas where they are needed most,” Israel Rocha, CEO, Cook County Health.

Data shows that behavioral health needs have increased globally and in the U.S. The global presence of depression and anxiety increased by more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic. Nearly 50% of Americans reported recent symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder, and 10% felt their mental health needs were not being met.

“We know the pandemic has exacerbated mental health and substance use challenges for Cook County residents and families,” said Dr. Hasbrouck. “But while anyone’s mental health can be affected, some people are more likely to be affected than others.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, people who are more likely to experience mental illnesses or disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic, include: children, mothers and pregnant people; black, indigenous, and people of color; people with financial or housing insecurity; people with disabilities; and people with pre-existing mental illnesses or substance use problems.

“We are excited to work with our communities to meet the needs of our residents and families and chart a healthier path forward,” said CCDPH Behavioral Health Unit Director Jennifer Brothers. “We are calling on all organizations who are eligible, to apply. Whether you are a small community-based organization housed in the basement of a local church, a local middle school that is committed to raising future generations, or a community health center that has been working in the community for decades: We want to work in partnership with you.”

The Building Healthy Communities Behavioral Health Initiative will be built on a foundation of equity and inclusivity. To that end, CCDPH streamlined the grant application process to encourage all interested organizations and agencies to apply. For those not familiar with receiving grants: optional, capacity-building workshops are being offered to familiarize applicants with legal requirements and grant application skills, such as program design, monitoring and reporting.

View the press release. For full grant details, click here. Additional important items can be found in the sidebar and below. Please send all questions to: [email protected]

Grant Program Strategies

Applicants must tailor their application to one of the strategies below.

Mental Health

Funding will support the development, maintenance, and/or expansion of programs and services that improve the behavioral health of suburban Cook County residents through prevention and support approaches

Positive Youth Development

Funding will support the development, maintenance, and/or expansion of programs and services supporting positive youth development

Opioid-Involved Overdose Prevention

Funding will support the development, maintenance, and/or expansion of harm reduction outreach programming in high-need areas of suburban Cook County

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants to Mental Health and Positive Youth Development Strategies must be one of the following at the time of submission:
    • Local Government
    • Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)
    • 501(c)(3) Community-based Organization (CBO)
    • Community Health Center
    • Education Agency
  • Applicants to Opioid-involved Overdose Prevention Strategy must be 501(c)(3) community-based organizations at the time of submission

Grant Awards

  • Mental Health and Positive Youth Development Strategies
    • Track One: Awards up to $250,000 over four years
    • Track Two: Awards up to $1,000,000 over four years
  • Opioid-involved Overdose Prevention Strategy
    • Awards up to $1,345,715 over four years

Key Dates

  • October 26, 2022: Application period opens
  • December 7, 2022: Applications due by 5:00 p.m. CT
  • Week of January 16, 2023: Awards announced

Information Sessions

CCDPH held virtual information sessions on Friday, October 28th and Wednesday, November 2. Both sessions covered the same information. CCDPH strongly encourages applicants to attend one session or watch the recording to find out more about this funding opportunity. Recordings will be posted here when they become available.

Information Session 1 – Friday, October 28th, 2022, 12 PM CT
Information Session 2 – Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022, 12 PM CT

Recordings of the information sessions are posted below. You can download the presentation used during the information sessions, and view the webinar presentation below and see answers to all questions raised during the sessions in the FAQ document.

Capacity Building Workshops

CCDPH partner Guidehouse held optional virtual capacity building workshops. These workshops will help grant applicants build grant writing and program design skills and understand the legal agreement and requirements for these grants. Recordings of previously held events are shared below.

Past Workshops:

Grant Application – Friday, November 4th, 2022, 12 PM CT

Program Design – Friday, November 11th, 2022, 12 PM CT

Monitoring, Reporting & Legal Agreements – Friday, November 18th, 2022, 12 PM CT

Application

Applications closed on Wednesday, December 7 – thank you to all who applied. Awards will be announced in January 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions sent to [email protected] and asked during Information Session and Capacity-Building Trainings will be answered here.

Communication Materials

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BHC Behavioral Health Initiative Grant Opportunity Fact Sheet

BHC Behavioral Health Initiative Grant Opportunity Fact Sheet (Spanish)

Updated January 24, 2023, 1:26 PM