James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

April 24, 2017

New York State Office of Mental Health Announces Availability of $75,000 in Funding for Stigma Reduction Projects

Taxpayer Contributions to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund’ Now Available to 15 Non-Profit Agencies Statewide; Grant Applications due May 10, 2017

ALBANY, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) today announced the availability of up to $75,000 in grant funding for projects that help reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness. 

This funding represents the revenues received through a voluntary tax check-off program launched in 2016. This program allows taxpayers to contribute easily to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund’ when filing their NYS taxes.

“Mental illness affects one in four people during their lifetime, and too often, individuals don’t seek the help they need because of the stigma that surrounds it,” said Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan “The tax check-off program is a wonderfully easy way for every New Yorker to give what they can to fight against that stigma. We can all make an effort to reduce the negativity surrounding mental illness in order to create hope for individuals who are working towards recovery. That starts in the community and we are excited to put these taxpayer contributions to work.”

The Office of Mental Health will provide 15 grants of up to $5,000 each to support year-long stigma-reduction projects. Agencies must have at least one year of experience serving individuals with mental illness in order to qualify.

Projects must address one or more of the focus areas below:

  • Housing – Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in housing which prevent people with mental illness from obtaining safe affordable housing.
  • Employment - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in the workplace that make it difficult for persons with mental illness to find and keep meaningful jobs.
  • Education - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in schools that interfere with the ability of students with mental illness to fully participate in the educational environment.
  • Parenting - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination experienced by individuals with mental illness who are also parents.
  • Media - Activities intended to combat the stigma, discrimination, and negative stereotypes in the media.  This could also include social media.
  • Health Care - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in the health care system that lead to people with mental illness not receiving certain types of health care that they need.

Project proposals must include the agency’s focus area, project timeline, target audience, staffing plan, budget, and specific deliverables. Activities can include, but are not limited to: advertising, flyers, speakers, training, and multimedia productions.

The Office of Mental Health will collect proposals until May 10, 2017, with grant distribution expected in July. There will be a minimum of two grants awarded in every region of the state. Completed project proposals should be submitted to:

Community Budget and Financial Management
Office of Mental Health
44 Holland Ave, 7th Floor
Albany, NY 12229
Attn: Carol Swiderski 

Any questions can be directed to Joseph Swinford by email joseph.swinford@omh.ny.gov or phone (518) 473-6579. 

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