Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Initiative – Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund
Current status of funding opportunity: Closed
On this page:
- Section 1: Overview
- Section 2: Objectives and principles
- Section 3: Funding details and requirements – Implementation Stream
- Section 4: Funding details and requirements – Incubator Stream
- Section 5: Additional source of funding from Canadian Heritage
- Section 6: Eligibility
- Section 7: Other considerations
- Section 8: Contact us
- Section 9: Glossary of terms
- More information on the funding program and requirements
Section 1: Overview
The new Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund ("the Fund") supports Black Canadians to develop more culturally focused knowledge, capacity and programs to improve mental health in their communities.
The Fund consists of two separate streams (applicants may apply to only one funding stream):
The Implementation Stream provides funding to recipients for community-led projects that implement and evaluate culturally focused programs that promote mental health and address its determinants for Black Canadians.
The Incubator Stream provides short-term funding to support community-based applicants that operate with limited organizational capacity and resources to first undertake steps to increase their capacity to design, develop, implement, and evaluate culturally focused programs that promote mental health and address its determinants for Black Canadians. Incubator Stream funding recipients who demonstrate success in increasing their capacity and readiness will be invited to apply for additional funding to implement the project idea developed through this initial incubation process.
Webinar information sessions on the Promoting Heath Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund took place at the beginning of October 2018. Please contact the Centre for Grants and Contributions by email at email@example.com to obtain a copy of the webinar presentation.
Mental health is an important component of Canadians' overall health. In its 2016 Framework for Action, the Mental Health Commission of Canada noted that "mental well-being is deeply impacted by social determinants of health, such as precarious housing, poverty, social exclusion, and racism."
In particular, Black Canadians face significant social and economic challenges that have negative implications for their mental health. These challenges include experiences of interpersonal and institutional anti-Black racism and discrimination; systemic socioeconomic and other disadvantages, including lower rates of educational attainment, higher levels of poverty and social exclusion, and more frequent interactions with law enforcement, criminal justice, and child welfare systems; a lack of access to culturally appropriate and culturally competent services; and stigma related to mental health and to accessing support services.
In response, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is launching the new Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund, with the aim of supporting more culturally focused knowledge, capacity, and programs that address mental health and its determinants for Black Canadians, including a focus on youth.
Section 2: Objectives and principles
The objectives of the Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund are to increase:
- understanding of the unique barriers to and social determinants of mental health for Black Canadians;
- knowledge of effective, culturally focused approaches and programs for improving mental health and addressing its key social determinants for Black Canadians, including a focus on youth and their family and community environments; and
- capacity within Black Canadian communities to address barriers to mental health.
The Fund is guided by the following key principles. Applicants to both the Implementation and Incubator Streams must apply all of these principles to their proposals when submitting a request for funding:
- Leadership by Black Canadians: Projects are led by, or developed in close collaboration with, Black Canadian community groups, not-for-profit organizations, and/or researchers. Projects are delivered in, and are of primary benefit to, Black Canadian community members.
- Evidence-based: Projects are anchored in meaningful data and evidence that demonstrate the potential of the proposed program to have a positive impact on mental health among Black Canadians.Footnote 1 Funding applications must include robust project evaluation and knowledge translation plans to assess the outcomes and impact of planned activities, and contribute to the evidence base about effective interventions and approaches to improve mental health. Partnerships with academics or other researchers are encouraged to support this work.
- Social determinants of health approach: Projects address one or more social determinants of mental health for Black communities, such as anti-Black racism, education, housing, policing and criminal justice systems, poverty, and/or social exclusion. Projects may be undertaken in a range of settings related to these determinants of mental health for Black communities, including schools and post-secondary institutions, workplaces, community health care settings, community centres, police departments, and detention and correctional institutions.
- Health equity lens: Projects integrate throughout their design, implementation and evaluation a health equity lens that considers and addresses unfair and avoidable differences in determinants of health, health outcomes, and reach and impact of interventions for various subgroups with the diverse Black Canadian population. For example, it recognizes and responds to differences based on sex and gender, ethnic/cultural backgrounds, migration histories, geographic locations, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.Footnote 2
- Cultural competence and safety: Where applicable, projects recognize and challenge unequal power relations between program providers and participants by building equitable, two-way relationships characterized by respect, shared responsibility, and cultural exchange. Project participants must have their culture, values, and preferences taken into account in the provision of services.
- Partnerships and collaboration: Projects are informed by, and benefit from, in-kind and/or financial support provided by partners from various sectors (e.g., not-for-profit sector, academic/research sector, private sector, organizations within and outside of the health sector, and other levels of government).
Section 3: Funding details and requirements – Implementation Stream
3.1 Funding details and requirements
The Implementation Stream provides funding for community-based projects that are ready to be implemented to better promote mental health and address its determinants for Black Canadians. See Eligible Activities – Implementation Stream, below. Applicants under this Stream must demonstrate sufficient existing financial and human resource capacity to support project implementation and evaluation.
Implementation Stream funding decisions are based on the results of a competitive proposal assessment process and available funds. Not all eligible applications will be funded.
3.2 Funding amount and duration
Applicants to the Implementation Stream could request funding of up to $200,000 per year for 1 to 4 years. The maximum funding request is $800,000 over 4 years.
All Implementation Stream project activities must be completed by March 31, 2023.
Section 4: Funding details and requirements – Incubator Stream
4.1 Funding details and requirements
The Incubator Stream provides short-term funding to support capacity-building activities for the purpose of enabling the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of projects that promote mental health and address its determinants in Black Canadian communities. Capacity-building activities may include, but are not limited to, development of project networks, collaborations, and partnerships; community-based knowledge synthesis and mobilization activities; and program concept development and feasibility testing. See Eligible Activities – Incubator Stream, below. Applicants under this Stream must demonstrate the need for initial funding to support capacity-building activities.
Based on a final report describing an increase in organizational capacity and readiness, Incubator Stream funding recipients were invited to submit a request for up to 3 years of additional funding to implement the project idea developed through the initial incubation process.
Incubator Stream funding decisions were based on the results of a competitive proposal assessment process and available funds. Not all eligible applications were funded.
4.2 Funding amount and duration
Applicants to the Incubator Stream could request funding of up to $75,000 for capacity-building activities lasting up to 12 months.
Incubator Stream funding recipients who demonstrated success in increasing organizational capacity and readiness were invited to submit a request for additional funding of up to $200,000 per year for up to 3 years to implement the project idea developed through the initial incubation process.
All Incubator Stream activities were completed by March 31, 2020.
Section 5: Additional source of funding from Canadian Heritage
Funding may also be available from Canadian Heritage through its Community Support for Black Canadian Youth Initiative to increase awareness of issues faced by Black youth that affect their full participation in society and the economy, as well as to increase capacity within Black communities to address racism and promote Black history, culture and identity.
This related funding opportunity will support projects that focus on combatting discrimination through awareness-raising and/or digital literacy; providing opportunities for Black Canadian youth; empowering Black youth through the promotion of Black history, culture and identity; and/or developing the leadership skills and civic engagement of Black youth.
Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Canadian Heritage at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore eligibility to apply for complementary funding.
Section 6: Eligibility
To be eligible for funding under either the Implementation Stream or the Incubator Stream, proposed projects must align with the Fund's objectives and principles, described above. Applicants must also clearly demonstrate how their funding request meets the following eligibility criteria for recipients and activities.
6.1 Eligible recipients
The following types of applicants are eligible for funding under the Implementation Stream and Incubator Stream:
- Canadian not-for-profit organizations and unincorporated groups, societies, and coalitions, with priority given to those led by and serving Black communities in Canada;
- Non-federal Canadian public institutions such as boards of education, schools, colleges and universities, chambers of commerce, law enforcement and police agencies, hospitals and other health care institutions (must apply in partnership with at least one not-for-profit organization);
- Crown Corporations as defined in the Financial Administration Act (must apply in partnership with at least one not-for-profit organization);
- Provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their agencies (must apply in partnership with at least one not-for-profit organization);
- Research organizations and academics affiliated with post-secondary institutions (must apply in partnership with at least one not-for-profit organization); and
- Private sector organizations (must apply in partnership with at least one not-for-profit organization).
In all cases, projects must be led by, or developed in close collaboration with, Black Canadian community groups, not-for-profit organizations, and/or researchers.
6.2 Eligible activities
All projects under both the Implementation Stream and Incubator Stream must be delivered in, and be of primary benefit to, Black communities and populations in Canada. The following activities are eligible for funding:
- Adapting existing mental health promotion programs to be more culturally focused and appropriate to Black recipients/users; and
- Implementing and evaluating novel, culturally focused programs that promote mental health and address its determinants for Black Canadians, in key populations, communities, and settings.
- Building and strengthening community-based engagement, networks, collaborations, and partnerships;
- Gathering and analyzing data and information from diverse sources (e.g., community consultations and needs assessments, peer and key informant interviews, focus groups, secondary data);
- Consolidating knowledge of what works through knowledge synthesis, mobilization of evidence and/or community resources and assets, and analysis of relevant data;
- Assessing past and present mental health promotion programs for lessons learned and promising practices;
- Developing the design and/or methodology for a novel, culturally focused mental health programs; and
- Testing the feasibility of implementing and evaluating novel, culturally focused mental health programs.
6.3 Eligible expenditures
Funding is limited to cash expenses that are pertinent, reasonable and essential to accomplish the objectives of an eligible project. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Salaries, benefits and consultant fees directly related to the project;
- Rental of office space, and equipment not normally used in your organization's daily operations;
- Travel expenses and accommodation within Canada, which must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business;
- Meetings, events and workshops – expenses associated with meeting space rental, transportation, accommodation, and meals must not exceed the rates permitted for government business;
- Dissemination, promotion and communications;
- Insurance (recipients must ensure that any public events funded by the Program are covered by appropriate insurance);
- Third-party project evaluation and audit services; and
- Other costs related to the approved project.
In all cases, project-related administrative expenses (e.g., rental of office space) are limited to a maximum of 15% of total project funding.
A detailed budget is required as part of the application process for both the Implementation Stream and the Incubator Stream.
No project expenses may be incurred prior to the acceptance of the funding agreement by all parties.
6.4 Ineligible activities and expenditures
The following activities and expenses are not eligible for funding under either the Implementation Stream or Incubator Stream:
- Provision of mental health services or clinical treatment for mental illnesses (e.g., psychological counselling);
- Provision of services that are the responsibility of other levels of government;
- Core operating expenses, including those incurred by the organization in its normal or daily conduct of business (e.g., rent);
- Capital costs or expenditures (e.g., purchase of land, buildings, vehicles);
- Any type of Director's fees for volunteer members of Boards or other governing bodies;
- Annual general meetings or regular executive board meetings of an organization or association, including related travel;
- Ongoing production of newsletters, newspapers, magazines, journals, or radio and television broadcasts;
- Pure research in any discipline (pure research is original investigation undertaken to gain new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding, but without specific applications);
- Project-related travel and hospitality expenses that exceed the National Joint Council rates;
- Unidentified miscellaneous costs; and
- In-kind expenses.
Section 7: Other considerations
7.1 Official language requirements
The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada (Francophones living outside the province of Quebec and Anglophones living in the province of Quebec), supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both official languages in Canadian society. Projects must be accessible in one or both official languages depending on the reach and audience. For additional information, consult the Official Languages Act.
7.2 Gender-based analysis requirements
The Government of Canada is committed to Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). GBA+ incorporates consideration of gender as well as other identity factors such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income in the development of policies and programs. Applicants are expected to incorporate these considerations into their submission.
7.3 Research ethics approval
All projects that involve an intervention research component involving humans must be approved by a research ethics board that adheres to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. In addition, project leads should consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement website before the research portion of the project begins. Research is defined as an activity designed to test a hypothesis or answer a specific research question, permit conclusions to be drawn, and extend knowledge through the use of scientific methods and standardized protocols, systematic collection or analysis of data, or other types of inquiry.
Section 8: Contact us
For additional information about this funding opportunity, please contact email@example.com.
PHAC is under no obligation to enter into a funding agreement as a result of this invitation to submit LOIs (Implementation Stream) or funding request forms (Incubator Stream).
PHAC reserves the right to:
- Reject any submission received in response to this invitation;
- Accept any submission in whole or in part; and
- Cancel and/or re-issue this invitation at any time.
PHAC will not reimburse an applicant for costs incurred in the preparation or submission of a funding request form, LOI, or a full proposal in response to this invitation.
Section 9: Glossary of terms
- Black Canadians
- generally includes diverse individuals, populations, and communities in Canada that identify as having African or Caribbean ancestry.
- Health equity
- refers to the absence of unfair/unjust, systematic, and avoidable differences in health status or social determinants of health. A health equity approach seeks to reduce inequalities and to increase access to opportunities and conditions conducive to health for all. Heightened efforts to address the needs of populations that are at higher risk for poor health outcomes can help reduce health inequities between different population groups.
- Knowledge mobilization
- includes the synthesis, adaptation, dissemination and active exchange of knowledge.
- Mental health
- refers to a person's state of psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It is a necessary resource for living a healthy life and a main factor in overall health. It does not mean the same thing as mental illness. However, poor mental health can lead to mental and physical illness. Good/positive mental health allows a person to feel, think, and act in ways that help them enjoy life and cope with its challenges. Mental health can be positively or negatively influenced by factors at the individual, family, community and societal levels, including life experiences, social relationships, physical health, and social determinants of health. For more information on risk and protective factors for mental health refer to PHAC's Positive Mental Health Surveillance Indicator Framework.
- Social determinants of health
- are the broad range of social, economic and environmental factors that relate to an individual's place in society (such as gender, race, income, education, or employment) and that determine individual and population health. For more information, refer to the PHAC webpage on social determinants of health and health inequalities.
- generally refers to people aged 15-24 years.
More information on funding program requirements
Further clarification on the term 'Black Canadian community groups and not-for-profit organizations'
For the purpose of this funding opportunity, this term refers to Canadian not-for-profit organizations and coalitions whose mandate and/or priorities include activities specifically designed to serve Black communities and benefit Black Canadians.
Evidence that such organizations are based in, led by, and/or serving Black communities in Canada may include:
- organizational mission statements, operational plans, and other corporate documents;
- current and previous project work;
- substantive organizational leadership by Black Canadians (e.g. board governance, staff leadership)
To be eligible for funding, projects must be led by, or developed in close collaboration with, Black Canadian community groups or not-for-profit organizations.
Other applicants, such as academic or research organizations, private sector organizations, public institutions or other levels of government may also apply in partnership with at least one Black community-based not-for-profit organization.
For more information on application requirements, refer to the Call for Proposals.
Distinction between the Implementation Stream and the Incubator Stream
The Implementation Stream is intended to support eligible applicants who have sufficient capacity (in terms of internal expertise, having relevant project partners and collaborators, etc.) to begin undertaking project-related activities. Applicants to this funding stream will need to document that this capacity currently exists. Implementation Stream applicants may request funding of up to $200,000 per year for up to 4 years.
The Incubator Stream is intended to support eligible applicants who require initial funding to first strengthen their internal capacity (in terms of increasing expertise, building the right project partnerships, etc.) to be able to implement a proposed project idea. Incubator Stream projects can also test the feasibility of a new initiative or intervention approach in order to better define and address capacity needs. Applicants to this funding stream will need to document that they currently face a capacity gap. Incubator Stream applicants may request funding of up to $75,000 for up to 12 months. Recipients of Incubator Stream funding who have successfully completed capacity-building activities will be invited to submit a further application for project implementation funding (up to $200,000 per year for up to 3 years).
Number of projects being funded
Approximately 10 to 15 projects are expected to be funded. This includes projects funded under the Implementation Stream, and projects funded under the Incubator Stream – some of which may go forward to multi-year implementation funding after capacity building activities are complete.
Eligibility of specific populations within Black Canadian communities (e.g. youth, newcomers, women)
Projects that focus on a specific population within Black Canadian communities may be considered for funding.
Applicants are encouraged to consider priorities and needs within their communities as well as the social determinants of health, and to demonstrate in their proposal how their project will address these issues.
For more information on eligibility requirements, refer to the Call for Proposals.
Eligibility of mental health services
Provision of direct clinical health care services, including mental health services, are not eligible for funding. Providing health care services is not within the mandate or roles of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). PHAC's work focuses on promoting positive mental health, understanding risk and protective factors, and working in partnership with others to address mental health determinants.
Organizations that provide mental health services may apply for funding, either as a lead applicant or a partner organization. However, the proposed project, and the organization's contributions to it, must focus on mental health promotion activities.
Eligibility of research projects
Intervention research projects may be considered for funding, as long as they meet the Fund's objectives and principles. The intervention that is the subject of study should be a culturally focused program that aims to promote mental health for Black Canadians.
Pure research projects (those undertaken to gain new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding, but without specific applications) are not eligible.
Proposed projects may receive additional funding from other sources. However, applicants are not required to seek additional project funding from other sources.
The total amount of government assistance (including federal, provincial and municipal funding) for a project cannot exceed 100% of the project's cost.
Proposals must disclose all additional sources of funding for the proposed project, if any, including from other Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) programs, other federal departments, other levels of government, and charitable foundations. Additionally, in the course of project implementation, recipients are required to report to PHAC regarding any additional funds received to support the approved project.
General eligibility and assessment criteria for both the Implementation and Incubator Streams are listed in the Call for Proposals.
Specific assessment criteria are outlined in the application packages, which can be requested via email to the Public Health Agency of Canada's Centre for Grants and Contributions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information on gender-based analysis (GBA+)
GBA+ is a tool to assess how different groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives in different ways. The 'plus' in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences to consider the many identity factors that intersect to make us who we are – including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability. Information about GBA+ and other resources are provided in the Call for Proposals and application materials.
To address the GBA+ requirement in project proposals, applicants should demonstrate that they have considered:
- whether gender or other identity factors will influence the way in which proposed activities are designed, implemented and evaluated;
- how different groups of Black Canadians may experience and benefit from proposed activities;
- whether certain groups of Black Canadians may encounter barriers or challenges in taking part in and benefitting from proposed activities.
Further information on official languages requirements
To address the official language requirement in project proposals, applicants should:
- indicate whether there are official language minority communities in the area(s) in which proposed activities will take place, and
- explain whether proposed activities will include these communities.
The Public Health Agency of Canada can support funded projects to translate final reports or other materials in order to facilitate broader knowledge mobilization and exchange.
- Footnote 1
Where available, funding applicants should cite applicable peer-reviewed scientific data, research, and analysis and/or previous evaluation results that support the proposed project. However, it is recognized that significant gaps exist in the current state of data and evidence for Black communities in Canada. Other forms of acceptable evidence include: non-Canadian peer-reviewed data, research, and analysis on mental health issues, determinants, and interventions in Black populations; community needs assessments; organizational expertise and knowledge; and perspectives from individuals with lived experience.
- Footnote 2
Information on integrating health equity considerations in project activities is available in:
Toward Health Equity - Practice Tool:
Toward Health Equity - A tool for developing equity-sensitive interventions:
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