OMH Announces Availability of New Anti-Stigma Grants

NYAPRS Note: Thanks to the leadership of the Mental Health Association of NYS, the NYS legislature provided the option for NYS taxpayers to contribute to reduce stigma via a new tax check off option. The NYS Office of Mental Health has released information below about how to apply to use these funds: please direct questions to Joe Swinford at OMH’s Bureau of Recipient Affairs at

April 14, 2017

Dear Community Partner,

The New York State Offices of Mental Health is making available funding for projects to promote stigma reduction. These funds are from the revenues received through the voluntary tax check off program. This program, approved by the legislature in 2016, allows tax payers, on their NYS Tax Filing, to designate a contribution to the fund to promote the reduction of stigma towards persons with mental illness.

These funds will be made available each year subject to the funds collected through taxpayer designations. For 2017, OHM has approximately $75,000 available for this year. Projects need to be completed within a one-year time frame. The maximum award to any one agency will be $5,000. OMH intends to select at least two projects in each of the 5 OMH regions. Agencies chosen for funding must have at least one year of experience serving persons with mental illness.

In order to be considered, projects need to address one or more of the goals below:

  • Housing – Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in housing which keep people with mental illness from obtain 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 interferes 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 leads to people with mental illness not receiving certain types of health care that they need.

Activities include, but are not limited to: advertising, flyers, speakers, training, and multimedia productions. These funds cannot be used to cover the cost of food, conference travel, or other purchases precluded by law or regulation.

To be considered for these funds, proposals should include:

  • Focus Area – The area or areas from the list above that will be the focus on the project
  • Timeframe – This should account for the single year nature of the funding
  • Target Audience – Who will these activities seek to focus on
  • Staffing Plan – Staff and consultants involved, including names of individuals if known
  • Budget – Spending plan for the funds
  • Deliverables – Listing of any specific products or projected numbers of presentations

Projects selected for funding will receive a 75% advance of the funding for their project. A July 1, 2017 start is expected. Upon completion of the project, providers are required to submit a final claim which must include a full accounting and supporting documentation for expenditures. At that time the remaining 25% can be claimed. Any unspent funds must be returned. Providers filing a CFR must report these funds and related expenditure on their CFR. Information on claims reporting will be provided at the time of award.

Any questions regarding these funds should be directed to Joseph Swinford by email or phone (518) 473-6579.

Completed project proposals must be submitted by May 10, 2017 to:

Community Budget and Financial Management

Office of Mental Health

44 Holland Ave,7th Floor

Albany, NY 12229

Attn: Carol Swiderski

We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with you to improve the lives of those we serve.


John B. Allen, Jr.

Special Assistant to the Commissioner