Morgan Stanley

Children’s Mental Health Innovation Awards

The Purpose of the Innovation Awards

Launched in 2021, the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children's Mental Health Innovation Awards initiative aims to identify and fund mental healthcare solutions for children and young adults across the United States. This program specifically addresses the lack of both private and public investment in children’s mental health and of effective ways to connect innovative ideas with capital. The resulting systemic funding gap has only increased with the deepening crisis in children’s mental health due to COVID-19-related repercussions and ongoing social injustice issues.

The Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health was created to fund and leverage solutions for what we believe is a serious and growing problem for the next generation. With the Innovation Awards, we hope to further this goal by identifying and advancing new, impactful ways to help address mental illness in children and young adults.
— Ted Pick, Co-President, Morgan Stanley, Chair, Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Advisory Board

Hear from Teen Line, Smart From the Start and Black Girls Smile—three of the inaugural Innovation Awards winners—as part of our series of videos devoted to this initiative

About the Program

WHAT FINALISTS CAN EXPECT

The Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health (the "Alliance") invites U.S.-based 501(c)(3) public charities to submit innovative ideas for advancing children’s mental health. Selected organizations have opportunities to:

  • Be awarded with a grant of $100,000.
  • Receive consultation and training from industry professionals.
  • Learn from peers and build powerful connections.
  • Raise their profile and present their solutions at the Innovation Awards Showcase.

For more information, please see program FAQs. >

ELIGIBILITY AND PROJECT SCOPE

Registered 501(c)(3) public charities based in the U.S. are eligible to apply.

We are looking for new or piloted projects from direct-service organizations that will help address the far-reaching challenge of stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues in children and young adults on a national or local level in the U.S. Projects must tackle specific issues and address unmet needs, with a goal of reducing stigma, increasing access to care, improving equity in mental health, enabling early identification/prevention or enhancing intervention, especially among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. Organizations that are shortlisted for selection must agree to applicable terms and conditions in order to be eligible for final selection and awarding of any grants.

FINALIST SELECTION CRITERIA

Applications are reviewed by an expert panel of judges based on the equally-weighted criteria below:

  • Innovation: Applications must present an innovative solution for tackling the challenge of stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues in children or young adults.
  • Scope: Applications should outline executable services for addressing unmet needs in children’s mental health care, especially among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.
  • Impact: Applications should offer measurable deliverables aimed at improving the state of mental wellbeing in children or young adults.
  • Potential: Applications will also be judged on the feasibility of replicating or scaling the proposed service to benefit children and young adults in broader communities.

KEY DATES FOR SECOND INNOVATION AWARDS

  • May 2, 2022: Application opens.
  • May 18, 2022: Briefing session. To learn more about the program and how to apply, watch a replay of the virtual briefing session.
  • July 15, 2022: Application deadline
  • Early January 2023: Finalists announced; cohort learning program and pitch development commences.
  • Mid-March 2023: Innovation Awards Showcase, during which finalists present their solutions to a broad audience, including other funders.

For more information, please see program FAQs. >

For additional inquiries, email us at acmhinnovation@morganstanley.com.

Inaugural Innovation Award Winners

Black Girls Smile provides virtual and in-person mental health literacy programming, education, therapy scholarships and resources to help Black girls and women lead mentally healthy lives.

 

Suicide Prevention Program: Building on its proven mental health literacy programming, this culturally and gender-responsive curriculum focuses on suicide prevention among Black girls and youth, with a new digital platform for enhancing virtual and on-demand programming across the country.

https://www.blackgirlssmile.org/

citiesRISE is committed to transforming mental health through local innovation, coalition building, and youth-led action globally.

 

Mental Health Gathering Spaces: The Gathering Space model meets youth, particularly those who are marginalized, where they are by integrating mental health enhancing interventions into existing community spaces, with potential for adaptation into a range of settings and scaling for nationwide impact.

https://cities-rise.org/

The Rural Behavioral Health Institute is focused on improving the mental health of those living in rural communities by disseminating clinically proven digital mental health care.

 

Digital Screening Linked to Same Day Mental Health Care: This piloted project will identify and connect youth with an elevated risk of suicide to same-day mental health care and includes a universal digital suicide-risk screening of youth, linkage to same-day follow-up telehealth or in-person care, and an implementation template for replicating to other schools.

https://www.rbhi.org/

Smart from the Start is a trauma-informed, multi-generational family support and community engagement organization with a mission to promote the healthy development of young children and families living in the most underserved communities of Boston and Washington, DC.

 

Address the Stress Program: This program is embedded in the community, engaging both parents and their kids in talk therapy and behavioral health counseling by developing fun and interesting group activities that promote mental, emotional, and physical health while reducing stigma and barriers to care.

https://smartfromthestart.org/

Teen Line is dedicated to peer-to-peer support by providing teenagers across the country with an anonymous, non-judgmental space to talk about their problems with highly trained teens who are supervised by adult mental health professionals.

 

Latinx Youth Career Development Program: This pilot program will train Latinx youth to answer texts on the peer-to-peer hotline, aiming to encourage Latinx teens to pursue careers in mental health, increase the diversity of hotline volunteers, expand the hotline’s service hours, and build more Latinx mental health ambassadors.

https://teenlineonline.org/

ABOUT THE MORGAN STANLEY ALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH

For more than 60 years, the Morgan Stanley Foundation has supported healthy starts and solid education for the children in our communities, and has continued to expand the reach of those initiatives globally for the past 20 years through the Morgan Stanley International Foundation. Our latest initiative, the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health, combines the resources and reach of Morgan Stanley with the knowledge and experience of our distinguished nonprofit member organizations to help deliver positive, tangible impact on the critical challenges of stress, anxiety and depression in children, adolescents and young people.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

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Background and Basics

 

What are the goals of the Innovation Awards?

The Innovation Awards program aims to help fill the funding gap in the under-resourced children’s mental health sector and provide runway for game-changing ideas. Our goal is to bring nonprofits and funders together, in order to match much-needed capital with innovative projects in the field of mental health care for children and young adults.

Who can apply for the Innovation Awards?

All registered 501(c)(3) public charities based in the U.S. are eligible to apply. 

What is the eligible project scope?

We are looking for new or piloted projects from direct-service organizations that will help address the far-reaching challenge of stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues in children and young adults in the U.S. Projects must tackle specific issues and address unmet needs, with a goal of reducing stigma, increasing access to care, improving equity in mental health, enabling early identification/prevention or enhancing intervention, especially among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. 

Is a local or regional project eligible or does it need to be national?

A proposed project can be on a national, regional or local level. We are especially interested in projects that can show feasibility of replicating or scaling the service to benefit children and youth in broader communities.

Are international organizations eligible?

No, only U.S.-based public charities are eligible to apply.

How can I learn more about the Innovation Awards?

To learn more about the program and how to prepare an application, please watch a replay of the virtual briefing session. Additionally, please refer to the press release on the Innovation Awards for more background information. 

Application Details

How do I apply?

The application for the second Innovation Awards is now closed. Winners will be announced in early January 2023.

How many applications can each organization submit?

One application may be submitted per organization, or per department for higher education institutions.

How are applications reviewed? Do I need to provide any further information?

Applications are reviewed by an expert panel of judges based on the selection criteria stated above. You may be asked to provide further information on your organization and proposed project during the process. Decisions by the Alliance are discretionary and final.

When does the application period open? When is the application deadline?

The application period will be open from May 2 to July 15, 2022.

When will I hear back about my application?

We will notify applicants of their results before we announce the winners in early January 2023.

Benefits of the Program

What are the potential benefits for applicants?

Selected organizations will have opportunities to receive grants to test and scale their innovative work. In addition, they will receive consultation and training from industry professionals, build powerful connections and raise their profile.

How much funding is available?

Grants of $100,000 will be awarded to each finalist who can also showcase their projects to other funders during the Innovation Awards Showcase.   

Can funding cover overhead costs?

The funding does not cover institutional overhead on the proposed project—funds will go directly to the project itself and will not cover or contribute to any overhead costs of the organization.

Are grants recurring or made on a one-time basis?

Grants are made on a one-time basis.

What Finalists Can Expect

What is the cohort learning program?

Selected organizations will join a cohort learning program that will begin in early January 2023 and includes sessions on pitch development, fundraising, program scaling, governance, etc.

What are the profiling opportunities?

Finalists are announced in early January 2023, after which we will promote their innovative ideas through Morgan Stanley’s global communications channels. During the Innovation Awards Showcase in mid-March 2023, participating nonprofits can showcase their proposals to a broad audience, including other funders. Please also refer to the inaugural Innovation Awards Showcase replay here for more background. 

Will participating nonprofits receive assistance with their pitch development for the Innovation Awards Showcase?

Yes, participating nonprofits will be paired with Morgan Stanley volunteers, who will provide advice and guidance in developing their pitches ahead of the Innovation Awards Showcase.

How will the Innovation Awards Showcase take place?

The format of the Innovation Awards Showcase will be determined closer to the date in mid-March 2023, depending on any limitations imposed by the ongoing pandemic.