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Youth Mental Health Call for Applications

Does your organization know how to connect with young people to reduce depression, anxiety and suicide?


We want to use your experience. We want to celebrate your enthusiasm. Become a mentor and assist organizations and the field’s efforts to improve mental health supports for young people.



The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) recently released a call for applications for a new, two-year learning opportunity aimed at increasing youth engagement in quality, appropriate mental health supports. Now, we’re looking for organizations who can serve as mentors! Mentors will support “pilot” organizations to implement new approaches that help reduce anxiety, depression and suicide among young people aged 10 to 24 in underserved populations – including culturally diverse, rural, LGBTQ+ and others. This project aims to:

  1. Connect young people with new types of mental health support in five communities with guidance and support from mentors, coaches and experts.
  2. Connect 20 youth with each other and these communities as leaders and advisors to elevate their experience and voice as well as support implementation of engagement strategies put into effect by pilot sites.
  3. Connect communities with these new approaches to increase awareness and availability.
  4. Connect mentor organizations with funding for supporting pilot sites (up to $50,000 per organization).

This two-year learning opportunity seeks mentor organizations – within and beyond traditional health care settings – that have experience implementing organizational change and supporting youth to grow into healthy, happy adults. Pilot sites applied for this learning opportunity by proposing their own approaches to engaging youth in mental health supports. As a mentor, your role will be to draw on your own experience implementing a promising approach to assist the pilot site with their implementation.

Do you have a desire to apply your passion, experience and expertise and work alongside a pilot organization and youth to help implement a new approach that will facilitate community partnerships, increase awareness, decrease loneliness or offer a clinical/social intervention? Are there people within your organization who would jump at the opportunity to inspire others attempting to implement new approaches and who would benefit from this opportunity professionally? Apply to be one of five mentors and be supported to help make these goals a reality.

Eligibility and Submission

To be considered, all you need to do is pull together some initial information that includes:

  • Expression of Interest (optional): If you haven’t already, please provide your contact information by Friday, October 26, to ensure you receive updates and to help us adequately respond to the level of interest in this opportunity.
  • Organization and Experience: A brief description of your organization, the community and the population of youth you serve and your experience implementing organizational change. Please also describe your expertise and experience implementing a successful approach, practice or program that improves youth mental health outcomes, addresses gaps in engagement with services and fits within one of the following broad categories:
  1. Partnerships: Increase connections between important players in the lives of young people that help ensure young people have timely and effective engagement in mental health supports. Partnerships can be either formal or informal and either within your organization or in the broader community.
  2. Increase Awareness: Increase a community’s knowledge about depression, anxiety and suicide in young people, including connecting the broader community or family, peers or organizational staff in awareness building activities.
  3. Decrease Loneliness: Focus on adolescents and supports that contribute to positive connectivity with others.
  4. Clinical and Social Interventions: Connect young people to direct services or supports that improve adolescent mental health.
  • Implementation: Reflect in your submission that necessary personnel, infrastructure and/or financial resources are in place to successfully support your organization’s role as mentor and commit to fully participate in the learning opportunity and all activities. Please specify the individuals that you foresee participating in the mentoring activities.
  • Youth Engagement: Please describe your organization’s experience integrating youth voice and perspective into your work and your commitment to do so as you mentor others throughout the learning opportunity.

Key Dates

Friday, October 26, 2018 (optional)
Submit contact information to express interest in participating.

Friday, November 9, 2018, by 11:59 p.m. ET
Official submission deadline. All submissions must be made through the application platform by 11:59 p.m. ET.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Ten finalists are invited to participate in video interviews

December 3-14, 2018
Video interviews (45 minutes) are conducted with each of 10 finalist applicants.

Friday, December 21, 2018
Notification of final five mentor selections.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Accepted mentors confirm their commitment.


Total Award

Five mentor organizations will receive up to $50,000 each for participation in this initiative. A portion of funds will be provided at the start of the project to support participation in initial engagement activities. Remaining funds will be provided according to a schedule based on milestones developed collaboratively between National Council, the mentor organization and the project’s evaluator.


Additional Information

If you are not affiliated with an organization but would like to be involved in this initiative, please submit your contact information and a brief description of your relevant experience. We will contact you should your expertise be useful during the project.

Looking for more information? Please review our Frequently Asked Questions page which contains a wealth of additional detail about this initiative. We will continually update this page, so please check back often!


Frequently Asked Questions

Download the FAQ sheet.

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