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Helping Hands Grants Program

Grants to USA Medical Schools for
Student-Led Mental Health Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF)

Deadline Date:

05/31/19 Postmarked


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Grants of up to $5,000 to USA medical schools for projects addressing substance abuse and mental health disorders. Funding is intended to support community programs initiated and led by medical students with a particular focus on disadvantaged minority populations. Activities may be conducted in partnership with community agencies, or in conjunction with ongoing medical school outreach activities.

The Helping Hands Grants Program was established to encourage medical students to participate in mental health and substance use disorder activities; raise awareness of mental illness and the importance of early recognition of illness; and build an interest among medical students in the psychiatric field and working in under-served communities. All projects must be conducted under the supervision of medical faculty, consisting of at least one psychiatrist.

Some examples of activities that can be funded:

- Outreach and community education about mental health
- Mental health literacy programs
- Screenings and referrals in community health centers or homeless shelters utilizing validated tools

Innovative, new or replicable ideas are encouraged.

Poster Presentation: Recipients of the 2019-2020 Helping Hands grants will be invited to create and present a poster about their project at the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute on Psychiatric Services (IPS) in October 2020. A small travel stipend will be offered to each recipient program to help offset the cost of travel for one or more representatives, but the amount will not vary. Information regarding the IPS will be available Summer 2020.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180999

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Helping Hands Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The program year runs from September 1, 2019 – August 31, 2020. Funds must be expended within this time frame. If required, grant extensions should be requested prior to the end of the grant year in August 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Medical schools are eligible to apply for the grants.

A member of the faculty must be identified as the project administrator. This does not need to be the psychiatrist. Medical students who lead the program must be in their second, third or fourth year of medical school at the time they are engaged in community service.

Limitations on Uses of Funding:

- Grants cannot be used for physician personnel costs or payments to students or other professionals for activities related to the grant.
- Grants cannot be used to fund medication or pharmacy access.
- Funds for food functions for program participants will be considered if necessary for program success and typically cannot be more than 5% of the budget.
- Funds for computers and audio-visual requests will be considered, however, the application must include information regarding the necessity for the equipment and how the equipment will be used for the continuation of the program in future years.
- Funds for transportation for the target audience (for example, to and from clinic sites) will be considered if the funding is restricted so that it can only be used for purposes of this application.
- Cash equivalent incentives (i.e. gift cards, giveaways, raffles) typically may not exceed 20% of the budget. Non-cash equivalent incentives (i.e. babysitting or other at-event services) will typically not be held to the budget restriction.
- To request overhead or indirect costs, a copy of the university overhead policy (or a statement from the grants and contracts office, or the project administrator) must be provided. Overhead must be included as part of your total -not to exceed $5,000- budget, and the APAF will only fund overhead costs of up to 8% for all programs/projects for which it provides funding.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for 2019 grants must be postmarked by May 31, 2019.

If approval from your Contracts and Grants Office is required, please obtain that prior to the submission of your application and include contact information for that office.

Award decisions will be announced in mid-August, with grant funding available beginning September 1 (or upon receipt of a signed grant contract).

For application information:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Please submit your proposal, by mail or emailed as a PDF, to:

Brittany Raymond
American Psychiatric Association Foundation
800 Maine Avenue, S.W., Suite 900
Washington, District of Columbia 20024

For questions, email:

Lilia Coffin, Program Coordinator

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming