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Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has announced the availability of up to $105,000 in grant funding for projects that help reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness.

While disclosing this, OMH Commissioner, Dr. Ann Sullivan, stated that the grant is provided through the voluntary tax check-off program launched in 2016.

According to him, the program allows taxpayers to contribute easily to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund’ when filing their NYS taxes.

“The stigma unfairly applied to people living with mental illness often robs them of the opportunities many of us take for granted, including a good job, suitable and safe housing and appropriate health care.

“Stigma also discourages people with mental illness from seeking the help they need to address their health issues.

“OMH is actively working to reduce the negativity surrounding mental illness, and this funding, generously donated by New Yorkers, will support that mission and help our partners in communities across the state provide hope for individuals who are working towards recovery,” the commissioner said.

Sullivan added that OMH will award up to $15,000 to support stigma-reduction projects across the state.

“Agencies selected for funding must have at least one year of experience serving persons with mental illness and be recognized for their work serving underserved, under-represented and/or minority populations,” Sullivan said.

Eligible activities include but are not limited to targeted messaging and advertising, production of printed materials, speakers, training, contact with people with lived experience, and multimedia productions.

Funding cannot be used to cover the cost of food, conference travel, or other purchases precluded by law or regulation.

In order to be considered, projects need to address educational activities such as anti-stigma activities taking place in educational institutions, including colleges and universities, some of which deny admission to people due to their mental health histories.

The fund will also include media activities intended to combat the stigma, discrimination, and negative stereotypes in the media.

This could also include health care activities intended to combat stigma and discrimination in the health care system that prevents people with mental illness from receiving the needed health care.

OMH will review proposals for completeness, messaging and alignment with the desired, measurable outcomes of reducing public and self-stigma and promoting positive attitudes among targeted audiences and the general public.

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