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Behavioral Health Partnership Grants Program (Massachusetts)


Essex County Community Foundation is seeking Letters of Intent for its Behavioral Health Partnership Grants to ensure they are being inclusive to all aspects of mental wellness.

Donor Name: Essex County Community Foundation

State: Massachusetts

County: Essex County (MA)

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline (mm/dd/yyyy): 02/11/2022

Size of the Grant: $25,000 – $100,000

Grant Duration: 18 months


Priorities for Proposals

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.
    • NOTE: this work, while focused 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 is some of our rural communities and other “non-gateway” communities
  • 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.

Funding Focus

For the purposes of the Think Lab and grant cycle, ECCF is intentionally using the term Behavioral Health versus Mental Health to ensure they are being inclusive to all aspects of mental wellness. For this cycle, our definition of Behavioral Health encompasses all contributions to mental wellness. This includes psychological state,
substance use disorders, wellness, behavior, habits, and other impacts such as poverty, discrimination, or abuse on behavioral health.

Our intention is to develop, test or scale solutions that can improve the Behavioral Health sector in Essex County 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 the assets they have in Essex County; to reimagine and reinvent how they 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 are
  • Reduce barriers to access such as but not limited to transportation, language or stigma
  • Greater integration of behavioral health services in housing, healthcare, and food security
  • An 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.

Applications that include non-traditional partners such as businesses or municipal entities that help serve the most under-resourced populations are welcome in this grant process. It is not required to have a behavioral health provider or as part of your proposal.

Funding Information

  • Grants in the amounts of $25,000 – $100,000 will be considered and awarded based on needs and size/scope of application outcomes.
  • These grants are designed to be utilized within an 18-month implementation period.


  • At least one 501c3 organization must be a part of the partnership applying for funding. (The grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities or municipalities that can demonstrate charitable purpose.
  • Partnerships must include two or more organizations such as, a for-profit business(es), nonprofit(s), and municipal leader(s). Additional partners may be added if the project is invited to the full application process.
  • All partners must demonstrate a meaningful connection to the project and its objectives. Note: They are aware of the time it can take to establish meaningful collaborations and are expecting to assist and discuss potential partnership ideas with applicants.
  • Funding will only be provided to organizations serving those in Essex County and priority will be given to organizations who are based in Essex County
  • Organizations who received prior COVID-19 Response Fund grants are eligible to apply.
  • These grants are designed to be utilized within an 18-month implementation period.
  • Based upon the charitable structure of the Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund, grants CANNOT be awarded:
    • To individuals
    • For sectarian or religious purposes. COVID-19 Response Fund grants to faithbased organizations may only be used for non-conditional relief work and available to all qualified applicants without obligation
    • For political purposes
    • For debt or deficit reduction
    • For capital campaigns for buildings, land acquisition, or endowment
    • To support academic research

For more information, visit Behavioral Health Partnership Grants.

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