Grants & PRIS: Requests For Proposals

Children’s & Young Adults’ Mental Health

The Background

Mental health problems are common in the United States, with nearly 1 in 5 children and adolescents diagnosed with a mental illness. Yet only 20% of those with a mental illness receive care from a specialized care provider for mental health. This risk of untreated mental disorders is even greater for children residing in lower-income households. If left unaddressed, mental health concerns can have broad impacts on children’s educational attainment. Untreated mental health concerns can make it difficult to stay on task in the classroom, complete problem-solving tasks, and otherwise interfere with the learning process. Over time, as the mental health needs of children and adolescents go unrecognized or untreated, mental health concerns may reduce or impair the social, emotional, and cognitive skills necessary to attend school, graduate from high school, succeed in the workforce, and achieve upward economic mobility.

Prevention, detection, and early intervention of mental health concerns are critical to slow or stop their progression and ensure that all children living in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties will be able to access their most promising future. Yet, there are a number of barriers that make accessing quality mental health care challenging, including a lack of specialized care providers, stigma related to mental illness, and insufficient coordination among the systems supporting children’s and young adults’ mental health, particularly for minority, low-income, or rural families.

Submission Examples

Examples of ideas that may be considered include, but are not limited to, the items noted in Table 1. These are solely illustrative and not proscriptive. Applications may include a variety of services, products, or technologies. The Foundation welcomes a range of ideas and encourages thoughtful experimentation.

Kindergarten Readiness

  • infant mental health consultation models
  • developmental screening, assessment, and mental health treatment models in early childhood settings

K-12 Academic Performance

  • programs, services, or frameworks that prevent and detect mental health concerns and deliver early intervention services in settings that are responsive to students’ contexts
  • initiatives that reduce stigma associated with mental illness and promote mental wellness
  • expansion of the workforce prepared to provide community-based and culturally relevant prevention, detection, and early intervention services
  • diversion programs that divert children and young adults with mental health disorders or co-occurring mental health/substance abuse disorders from the juvenile justice system into treatment and mental health services


The Foundation’s general eligibility criteria apply to the RFP. Please review the Funding Policies on the Apply page of the Foundation’s website and the General FAQs found on the Foundation’s Nonprofit and Public Sector Partners webpage.

For the purposes of this RFP, the Foundation offers additional guidance about proposals from public sector and nonprofit organizations.

Public sector organizations:

  • may serve as the lead agency submitting a proposal for Planning and Innovation grants. Public sector organizations may also participate as collaborating partners on both Planning and Innovation and Scalability proposals submitted by nonprofit organizations
  • include entities such as school districts, courts, or departments of health or human services

Nonprofit organizations:

  • may serve as the lead agency submitting a proposal for Planning and Innovation grants or for Scalability grants. Nonprofit organizations may also participate as collaborating partners on both Planning and Innovation or Scalability grants

Funding Guidelines

The Foundation expects to provide two types of support through this RFP

Planning and Innovation grants:

  • focus on experimentation and the development of new ideas. Recipients might describe activities such as piloting services or completing a feasibility study. Any evaluation activities should focus on understanding successes, challenges, and future possibilities resulting from the grant. 
  • will provide up to $250,000 and funded activities should be completed within 12 to 18 months after the grant award

Scalability grants:

  •  sustain and expand promising, evidence-informed initiatives. Recipients might describe activities, projects, and ideas that have been tested within one population group or in one geographic area with promising success and require an infusion of funds to expand the reach of the program to other population groups or geographic areas
  •  will provide up to $400,000 and funded activities should be completed within 18 to 24 months after the grant award

Grant funds awarded through this RFP may be used for a variety of expenses such as program and service delivery, consultant fees, evaluation, or “overhead” or administrative expenses. A limited amount of capital expenditures that are essential to accomplish the outcomes of the proposal may be included. 

If an application is truly exceptional, the Foundation may consider providing more than $250,000 for Planning and Innovation grants or $400,000 for Scalability grants. Successful grants may be invited to apply for follow-on funding or additional capacity-building funding opportunities at the conclusion of the grant.

What the Foundation Will Not Fund:

The Foundation will not fund the following items through this RFP:

  • Endowments
  • Advocacy, political causes or events
  • Existing deficits or retroactive funding
  • Event sponsorships


  • Applications submitted – Friday, September 9, 2022
    Noon (12:00 PM) EST
  • Funding Status Notification – Wednesday, December 21, 2022
  • Funds Issued for Awarded Grants – Friday, December 23, 2022
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Request For Proposals

We encourage you to prioritize carefully with your organization, and we recommend that an organization submit one proposal to each RFP. However, the logic model describing the proposed initiative may contain several types of activities that are critical for the project’s success.  

If you are submitting a proposal as part of a large regional research, university, or healthcare institution, we will consider ideas from multiple divisions within the institution. You should coordinate with your institution’s development office before responding to an RFP or completing the General Application to the Foundation.

Nonprofit and public sector applicants can submit different proposals to any of the RFPs at the same time.  

For-profit companies and entrepreneurs are only able to submit a proposal to the Employment in the New Economy: Supporting Disconnected and Gig Economy Workers RFP

Have a Question?

Please contact Lynne Ventress at the Foundation to discuss questions regarding this RFP.