Our 2017 Behavioral Health Initiative is now accepting proposals from Michigan nonprofits and public agencies. Behavioral Health is a broad category, and this initiative is focused on some key themes where we can have the greatest impact. Read on to better understand the types of projects we hope to fund in this round. And take note: proposals are due February 23rd!

Navigating the healthcare system can be trying for even the most prepared patients. For people dealing with mental health or substance abuse challenges, the maze of providers, referrals, and coverage can be especially overwhelming.

The Health Fund subscribes to a “no wrong door” philosophy. That means an individual seeking help should find a path to treatment regardless of where they enter the healthcare system. In other words, providers should work together to center care around the patient.

Resources that further define and characterize what we mean when we talk about integration:

Workforce development
Behavioral healthcare is a growing industry nationally and in Michigan, but as a state we lack the capacity to fill all the jobs that are available. At the same time, providers and community organizations must often find efficiencies to stay within their budgets, and workers must stay on top of new skills and best practices. To keep up with demand and ensure Michigan residents have access to the best possible care, Michigan must continue to strengthen and expand the behavioral health workforce.

For more information on workforce development, check out Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health.

Substance use disorders
This is the first time we’ve aimed to specifically address substance use disorders through our grantmaking. The impetus is clear: between 1999 and 2014, opioid-related deaths in Michigan have increased more than 900%. From 2009 to 2014, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths in Michigan doubled, from 4.9 to 9.8 per 100,000 residents.

The national opioid epidemic has not left our state unscathed, and this public health challenge must be addressed. Heroin and prescription drug misuse are not the only drug-related challenges facing our communities, and we will consider proposals that tackle other types of substance use disorders as well.

Resources to learn about substance use disorders and the opioid epidemic:


Across these themes, the Health Fund seeks to support projects that are based on the principles of recovery, inclusion, and freedom of choice. Projects might include:

  • implementation of new care delivery models;
  • integration-related activities like cross-training providers;
  • community-based responses to the opioid epidemic or strategies to address neonatal abstinence syndrome;
  • technology-related proposals that improve access to or quality of care; or
  • other new strategies to address workforce challenges.

The deadline for full proposals is February 23rd at 5:00pm. You can find more information in the full RFP, and view all the major deadlines here. Questions? Try our Grantmaking FAQ and Grantmaking at a Glance. If your topic isn’t covered, reach out to Senior Program Officer Becky Cienki at becky@mhealthfund.com.

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