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NIMH Outreach Partnership Program 2010 Solicitation for Proposals

For District of Columbia and the following 22 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.

Prepared by Outreach Partnership Program, Office of Constituency Relations and Public Liaison, National Institute of Mental Health

August 16, 2010

Contents

Solicitation

Preparing the Proposal

NIMH Outreach Partnership Program Solicitation

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is soliciting proposals for its Outreach Partnership Program from organizations in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Non-profit organizations that conduct outreach focused on mental health are invited to submit proposals. Organizations with experience in child and adolescent mental health and/or mental health disparities are encouraged to apply. Funding under this solicitation is awarded for one (1) year and renewable for two (2) additional years unless an organization fails to meet the general Program requirements or funding for the Program ends. The Outreach Partnership Program supports 55 Outreach Partners from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to disseminate research findings and science-based educational materials to the general public and populations impacted by mental health disparities, including those that occur by race or ethnicity, age (e.g., older adults), education or income, disability status, geographic location, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities such as immigrants, and military service members and their families.

A list of current Outreach Partners can be found on the NIMH website.

Contact us for questions.

General Program Requirements

Outreach Partners are expected to conduct statewide, science-based mental health outreach and education activities; targeted outreach to a defined population; and promotion of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NIMH clinical trials. The specific requirements for participation in the Outreach Partnership Program are listed below and described in more detail in the Statement of Work section.

  1. Designate a person to manage the organization’s participation in the Outreach Partnership Program. This person will serve as the primary contact with NIMH. Applicants must also identify a backup contact person.
  2. Attend the Outreach Partnership Program annual meeting and participate in other education and training activities such as teleconferences and webinars. 
  3. Disseminate NIMH research findings and science-based educational materials.
  4. Conduct science-based education and outreach addressing mental disorders among children and adolescents or mental health disparities.
  5. Promote, at the state and local levels, involvement in NIMH and NIH research.
  6. Submit online quarterly progress reports (April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31) and a brief end-of-year narrative progress report, including a summary of any changes to the proposed activities (January 31). 

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in forfeiture of participation in the Program.

Organizational Eligibility and Capabilities

Requirements
To be considered for an award, an organization must meet the following criteria:

  • Location:
    Organization must be located and have a mailing address in the state for which they are applying.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Organizations that are tax exempt, with a non-profit status, under any section of the United States tax code.
    • Organizations that meet Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requirements.
    • Organizations that demonstrate stable infrastructure, staffing and financial solvency.
    • Organizations that have an active record in the Central Contractor Registration  (CCR) database, and have the capacity to renew the record annually.
    • Organizations that demonstrate experience and capacity to disseminate information statewide and conduct state or local outreach and education.
  • Information Technology capabilities that include:
    • Regular access to e-mail and the Internet.
    • An organization website that can be updated and link to required NIMH and NIH websites.

Benefits to Outreach Partners

The Outreach Partnership Program will provide the following benefits during the three-year period of performance.

Funding
Outreach Partners receive an annual award of $7,500. NIMH recognizes that the award amount may not cover the entire costs of the required tasks, and encourages Partners to use it to leverage additional resources. All costs associated with performing the required tasks and meeting the timeline and deliverables schedule shall be the responsibility of each Outreach Partner. 

Education, Training and Networking
NIMH covers the costs for Outreach Partners to attend the Program’s annual meeting. The annual meeting brings together researchers, Outreach and National Partners, NIMH staff, and other key stakeholders. At this meeting, Outreach Partners learn about research advances in the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of mental disorders. Outreach Partners also benefit from networking with each other and learning about other Outreach and National Partners’ resources and initiatives. NIMH also facilitates networking through a Partners Only website and listserv, and teleconferences and webinars.

Materials
Outreach Partners will receive, via electronic distribution, the biweekly Update, which summarizes the latest mental health research findings, recently released Federal grant opportunities, and new government resources. NIMH will provide adaptable outreach tools and materials to support outreach and education efforts such as those that coincide with special observances like National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. In addition, Outreach Partners will have access to NIMH publications and other materials at no cost for statewide distribution. Outreach Partners also will be provided with an NIMH widget to highlight the organization’s participation in the Outreach Partnership Program on their website.

Other Benefits
Formal association with NIH/NIMH will enhance Outreach Partners’ visibility and provide organizations with the most current science-based information. Outreach Partners will have opportunities to provide NIMH with feedback on research priorities, which will help to shape the national mental health research agenda. This dialogue will provide insights that will help the NIH/NIMH meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.

Background on NIMH

The National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health is the lead Federal agency for research on mental and behavioral disorders. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured. The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. This public health mandate demands that the Institute harness powerful scientific tools to achieve better understanding, treatment, and eventually, prevention of these disabling conditions that affect millions of Americans. To fulfill its mission, the Institute:

  • Conducts research on mental disorders and the underlying basic science of the brain and behavior;
  • Supports research on these topics at research settings throughout the United States and the world;
  • Collects, analyzes and disseminates information on the causes, occurrence, and treatment of mental illnesses;
  • Supports the training of more than 1,000 scientists each year to carry out basic and clinical mental health research; and
  • Communicates with scientists, current and past users of mental health services, families, the news media, primary care and mental health professionals and others about mental illnesses, the brain, behavior, and opportunities and research advances in these areas.

The success of the Institute’s mission depends on the effective collaboration of all stakeholders in the field of mental health. This requires strengthening current partnerships and working to build new ones so that we understand the needs, capabilities and limitations of the field as we work together to move forward. For additional information on the Institute and its mission, goals and activities, please visit the NIMH website.

Description of the Outreach Partnership Program

The Outreach Partnership Program is a nationwide education and outreach initiative of NIMH that enlists national, state and local non-profit organizations with demonstrated experience in mental health outreach and education to:

  • Promote early recognition of mental disorders among individuals affected by mental illness, families, community organizations, and in various settings (e.g., schools, mental health centers, primary care practices);
  • Facilitate informed decision-making about interventions and treatments for mental disorders; and
  • Encourage participation in NIH and NIMH clinical research.

In support of these goals, the objectives of the Program are to:

  • Increase understanding about mental disorders, the brain and behavior;
  • Increase awareness of the role of basic, translational and clinical research to the development of treatment and prevention interventions and ultimately recovery and cure;
  • Reduce myths and misperceptions about mental disorders that contribute to mental health stigma and discrimination; and
  • Increase access to science-based mental health information, particularly among populations that experience mental health disparities.

Outreach Partners conduct specific activities to help achieve the stated Program goals and objectives, including:

  • Statewide dissemination of current NIMH research findings and educational materials;
  • Outreach to educate communities about mental disorders in children and adolescents, or mental health disparities that occur by race or ethnicity, age (e.g., older adults), education or income, disability status, geographic location, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities such as immigrants, and military service members and their families; and
  • Involvement in research activities, including promotion of NIMH and NIH clinical studies and, where feasible and appropriate, collaboration with NIMH research grantees.

Each Outreach Partner operates independently of the NIMH and is selected through a competitive process in which applications are reviewed by experts internal and external to NIMH. A list of current Outreach Partners can be found on the NIMH website.

Awards under this solicitation will be funded for one (1) year and renewed for two (2) additional years for a total of three (3) years unless an organization fails to meet the general Program requirements or funding for the Program ends. Failure to comply with the general Program requirements may result in forfeiture of participation in the Program.

Statement of Work – Required Tasks

Task 1: Managing the Project

Designate a person that is responsible for the management of the organization’s participation in the Program, including accomplishing the tasks, ensuring that all education and outreach efforts are based on the most current science and preparing contract deliverables. This person will serve as the primary point of contact with NIMH. Applicant organizations also must designate a backup contact person. The primary or backup contact must participate in all NIMH Outreach Partnership Program education and training activities.

Each Outreach Partner organization must be able to work toward the goals of the Outreach Partnership Program and must have adequate staff to accomplish the required tasks and to submit progress reports. Outreach Partners should have a commitment to science-based education and serve as a leader in their state for outreach and education on mental health.

NIMH expects awardees to report on activities on a quarterly basis, supplying standard information such as the number of events held and number of people reached, including basic demographic data and a description of the settings where activities were conducted

NIMH is committed to helping Outreach Partners enhance their ability to provide mental health education and outreach and expects a reciprocal commitment from each Outreach Partner. Outreach Partners are expected to demonstrate this commitment by taking full advantage of the following opportunities:

  • Attend the Program’s annual meeting (all costs for one person to attend are covered by the Program);
  • Participate in the flow of information among Partners by regularly monitoring and contributing to discussions on the listserv established for Outreach Partners;
  • Utilize the NIMH and Outreach Partnership Program websites and educational materials provided by NIMH; and
  • Participate in Program teleconferences and webinars.

Task 2:  Disseminating NIMH Research Findings and Science-based Educational Materials

Broadly disseminate NIMH research findings and educational materials throughout the state. NIMH expects Outreach Partners to distribute information through a number of channels such as:

  • Member/partner listservs;
  • Traditional and online media, including state and local newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the online versions of these media outlets (as applicable);
  • Website and social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, YouTube);
  • Conferences and meetings;
  • Community events; and
  • Online and print newsletters/publications.

Outreach Partners will work to increase public awareness of the critical role of research in expanding the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses to improve the lives of people affected by these disorders. Outreach Partners will disseminate information and documents provided by NIMH and post links on their website to specific NIMH and NIH websites. Outreach Partners will have access to the latest scientific findings, publications and other educational materials from the Program.

Activities will be evaluated through data submitted by Outreach Partners in their quarterly online progress reports, which will include measures such as:

  • Number of media interviews conducted and stories placed;
  • Newspaper and magazine circulation and broadcast audience reach for media placements, when available;
  • Number of listserv postings and number of people subscribed to the listserv;
  • Number of website and social networking site postings;
  • Number of conferences, meetings and community events where NIMH research and publications were distributed;
  • Number of attendees/individuals who received these materials, including basic demographic information, if possible;
  • Number of articles in organization’s online and print publications; and
  • Number of subscribers to the organization’s online and print publications.

Task 3:  Conducting Targeted Outreach on Mental Disorders among Children and Adolescents or Mental Health Disparities

Conduct science-based education and outreach addressing:

  • Mental disorders among children and adolescents, or
  • Mental health disparities, including those that occur by race or ethnicity, age (e.g., older adults), education or income, disability status, geographic location, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities such as immigrants, and military service members and their families.

This population-focused outreach may address specific topics such as suicide, traumatic stress and trauma-related mental disorders (such as those associated with history of interpersonal violence, manmade and natural disasters, or deployment and combat), the economy, parental depression, or other mental health issues.

Outreach Partners will disseminate specific NIMH science-based messages, materials, and current research findings to address these issues and adapt messages as needed to ensure cultural and linguistic relevance.

Applicants must identify their area of focus, target audience(s) and the specific science-based activities they will conduct to reach these audience(s) for the duration of the three-year award period. Organizations should provide a rationale regarding the specific activities they plan to conduct. Examples of individuals and intermediaries that may be targeted as part of these efforts include, but are not limited to:

  • Parents and/or caregivers;
  • Mental health, primary care or other health providers;
  • Schools;
  • Professional and civic groups;
  • Faith-based communities;
  • Employers;
  • Community mental health centers;
  • Hospitals and community health clinics; and
  • Criminal justice and law enforcement.

Task 4: Advancing Research

Promote, at the state and local levels, volunteer participation in clinical studies sponsored by NIMH and NIH, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities, and form collaborations with researchers to the extent feasible. Requirements include: 

  • Provide a link on the organization’s website to the NIMH Clinical Trials web page and that of NIH .
  • Distribute NIMH and NIH materials on participation in clinical research, such as NIMH’s brochure, A Participant Guide to Mental Health Clinical Research as appropriate. Adapt materials as necessary for cultural and linguistic relevance.
  • Inform constituents about clinical trials currently recruiting participants, particularly racial and ethnic minority populations. (Work with universities and researchers to determine appropriate trials.) For information about NIMH-funded studies currently recruiting participants, visit the NIMH Clinical Trials page.
  • Act as a resource for universities and research institutions in the state in determining priorities for conducting mental health research.
  • Work with a research collaborator to enhance local outreach and education and clinical trials promotion. This research collaborator should be a: psychiatrist, psychologist, neuroscientist/neurobiologist, or doctoral level social worker or public health professional actively or recently engaged in research related to mental health (as indicated by recent publications in peer-review journals, or recent awards of research grants or contracts), and affiliated with a university, teaching hospital, or academic center. Note: Applicants do not need an established relationship in place at this time, but need to demonstrate the commitment to doing so. NIMH grantees are preferred, but not required. If selected as an Outreach Partner, NIMH can assist Outreach Partners in identifying a grantee in their state or community.

A clinical trial (also known as clinical studies or clinical research) is a research study in human volunteers to answer specific health questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health. For more information, go to the ClinicalTrials.gov website .

Reporting Requirements and Deliverables

In addition to completing the tasks above, Outreach Partners must complete and deliver the following:

  • Online quarterly progress reports on or before the due date (April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31) and a brief end-of-year narrative progress report, including a summary of any changes to the proposed activities (January 31). 
  • Invoices (once yearly following completion of the end-of-year progress report).  Note: Initial award will be paid at the start of the project and after submission of the end-of-year progress report in subsequent years.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in forfeiture of participation in the Program.

Proposal Review and Evaluation Criteria

Outreach Partner proposals will be reviewed by a panel of experts. Reviewers will score each proposal based on the evaluation criteria outlined below and will make recommendations to NIMH. Final decisions will be made by NIMH.

Task 1: Managing the Project (20 points)
Review will be based upon demonstrated ability to manage the project, appropriate staffing, and ability to disseminate science-based information statewide and collect data related to activities.

Task 2: Disseminating NIMH Research Findings and Science-based Educational Materials (20 points)
Review will be based upon demonstrated experience, adequacy and creativity of plan, and capacity to monitor and report activities.

Task 3: Conducting Targeted Outreach on Child and Adolescent Mental Health or Mental Health Disparities (25 points)
Review will be based upon demonstrated experience, adequacy and creativity of plan, rationale for focus of activities, ability to form relationships with community and civic groups, and capacity to monitor and report on activities.

Task 4: Advancing Research (20 points)
Review will be based upon demonstrated experience in promoting research involvement, adequacy and creativity of plan, and ability to form relationships with the research community.

Organizational Eligibility and Capabilities: (15 points)
Review will be based upon demonstrated stability of staffing and organizational infrastructure, evidence of tax exempt status and EEO requirements, an active CCR record, capacity to disseminate science-based information statewide and existing information technology infrastructure.

Total Possible Points: 100

Preparing the Proposal

Timeline

  • August 16, 2010: Solicitation available
  • August 30, 2010: Solicitation questions due to NIMH
  • September 14, 2010: NIMH response to questions posted on NIMH website
  • October 5, 2010: Proposals due at NIMH no later than 4:00 p.m. ET
  • By December 31, 2010: Award letters distributed
  • January 2011: Awards announced

Proposal Contents

  1. Cover letter signed by an officer of the Applicant’s organization with the authority to commit the organization to the proposal content.
  2. Executive summary
  3. Table of contents
  4. Proposal for completing the required items (See Detailed Instructions)
    Task 1 2-4 pages + resumes
    Task 2 1-2 pages
    Task 3 2-3 pages
    Task 4 1-2 pages
    Organizational Capabilities 1-2 pages + documentation requested
  5. Outreach Partnership Program Organization and Contacts Form included as an Appendix.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to stay within the maximum page lengths noted above. Please do not send extraneous material.

Proposal Delivery

Please send six (6) copies of the proposal, including one that is clipped together (not bound) so that it can be easily photocopied to:

Outreach Partnership Program
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd, RM 8187
Bethesda, MD 20892-9669 (for regular mail)
Rockville, MD  20852 (for couriers and express mail)
Phone: 301-443-5005 (only for courier use)
Attention: Outreach Partnership Program Competition

Note: To confirm receipt of a proposal, send an email.

Detailed Proposal Instructions

Task 1: Managing the Project
Maximum 2-4 pages + resumes
Total Points: 20

Provide:

  • A description of the organization, including its mission, primary activities, how long it has been in existence, membership size, and any other pertinent details.
  • A description of the geographic area the organization currently reaches through existing activities and/or services.
  • A description of the overlap between the organization’s goals and the goals of the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program.
  • A description of the organization’s experience or capability in facilitating science-based education and outreach at the state or local level, and statewide dissemination of research findings and educational materials.
  • The person who will be responsible for the management of the organization’s participation in the Program, including accomplishing the tasks and reporting requirements. This person will serve as the primary point of contact with NIMH. This individual should have experience in mental health education and outreach and can be the Executive Director of the organization. Describe how the contact person will oversee the Program. Identify a backup contact and any other key staff who will be involved with the Program. Include resumes.
  • A description of the organization’s existing state and local networks, including government. For example, if the organization participates in statewide committees or provides input on policy, service system issues, funding, or evidence-based practice initiatives, please describe.
  • The organization’s intent and ability to collect appropriate data related to activities and submit quarterly progress reports and a brief end-of-year narrative report, including as a short summary of any updates to the proposed activities, via electronic format.
  • A brief summary of how the $7,500 award will be used, including staff allocation.

Task 2: Disseminating NIMH Research Findings and Science-based Educational Materials
Maximum 1-2 pages
Total Points: 20 

Briefly describe:

  • Current local and state information dissemination activities conducted by the organization. Include a brief description of the type(s) of data collected related to the reach of these activities and the methods used for data collection.
  • The proposed plan for disseminating NIMH research findings, educational materials, and science-based messages about mental disorders throughout the state, including a description of audiences that will be reached.
  • How this plan will be integrated into the organization’s ongoing activities.

Task 3: Conducting Targeted Outreach on Child and Adolescent Mental Health or Mental Health Disparities
Maximum 2-3 pages
Total Points: 25

Briefly describe:

  • Outreach and education activities addressing mental disorders in children and adolescents or mental health disparities currently or previously conducted by the organization and how these activities were monitored and reported (less than 1 page).
  • The proposed plan for implementing outreach activities that addresses mental disorders among children and adolescents and/or mental health disparities as defined by race or ethnicity, education or income, geographic location, age (e.g., older adults), disability status, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities such as immigrants, and military service members and their families. Please identify the intended target audience(s), focus area and specific activities. Include the following: (1) an overview of the organization’s existing partnerships that will enhance the success of this activity, and (2) additional organizations, resources and networks that would enhance the success of the activity.
  • How these activities will strike a balance between direct outreach to a target audience and activities aimed at intermediaries/gatekeepers such as health care providers, faith leaders, and school personnel.
  • How these activities will be integrated into the organization’s ongoing activities.

Task 4: Advancing Research
Maximum 1-2 pages
Total Points: 20

Briefly describe:

  • Clinical trial promotion activities the organization has conducted.
  • The proposed plan for promoting volunteer participation in clinical research sponsored by NIMH and NIH. Include proposed work with universities and other research institutions to refer constituents to NIMH and NIH clinical trials currently recruiting participants.
  • How the organization may be able to act as a resource for universities and research institutions in determining priorities for conducting mental health research in the community and state.
  • How this plan will be integrated into the organization’s ongoing activities.
  • Identify any existing relationships with researchers and their roles in the organization’s activities.
  • If an established relationship with a researcher exists and there is a mutual desire to collaborate, provide an abridged curriculum vitae (CV) that includes current or recent research involvement, a signed letter of commitment to work jointly on science-based education and outreach, and a brief description of the types of activities planned for collaboration. Note: Applicants are not required to submit the name of a research collaborator if such a relationship does not exist at this time. NIMH will assist Outreach Partners, as appropriate, in identifying research grantees in their areas.

Organizational Eligibility and Capabilities
Maximum 1-2 pages + attachments
Total Points: 15

Provide:

  • Evidence that the organization is tax exempt, with a non-profit status under any section of the United States tax code (e.g., copy of a letter from the Internal Revenue Service).
  • Evidence that the organization meets Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requirements.
  • Evidence of stable organizational infrastructure, staffing and financial solvency (e.g., a copy of the auditors’ opinion letter from the most recent audited financial statements).
  • Evidence of an active Central Contractor Registration (CCR) record by indicating organization’s DUNS in the Organization and Contacts Form. (Instructions for registering in CCR . Note that new registrations take 3-5 business days once all information is entered at CCR.)
  • Evidence of organization’s experience and capacity to disseminate science-based information statewide and conduct state or local outreach and education.
  • Current URL of the organization’s website and intention to post a link to and description of the Program as well as links to the required NIH and NIMH webpages on the organization’s website.

Appendix Organization and Contacts Information

Organization Information

Organization Name:
Street Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:
Fax:
Website URL:
Email Address:
Tax Identification Number:
DUNS:
Local population size:
Number of staff (specify whether paid or volunteer):
Number of members (and location if affiliates/chapters):
Board size and composition, if applicable:
Educational programs, advocacy and services offered:
Populations served:
Settings where education and services delivered:
Publications produced:

Primary Contact Person

Enter contact information for the person who will be responsible for management of the organization’s work for the Program and serve as the primary point of contact for NIMH staff. Please also include a resume for this person as an attachment to the proposal.
Prefix:
First Name:
Last Name:
Degree:
Title:
Street Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:
Fax:
Email Address:

Backup Contact Person

Enter contact information for the person who will serve as the backup contact for the Program. Please also include a resume for this person as an attachment to the proposal.
Prefix:
First Name:
Last Name:
Degree(s):
Title:
Street Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:
Fax:
Email Address:

Executive Director

Enter contact information for the organization’s Executive Director or equivalent.
Prefix:
First Name:
Last Name:
Degree(s):
Title:
Street Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:
Fax:
Email Address:

Research Collaborator

If relevant, provide contact information for the individual who will serve as research collaborator. Please also include an abridged CV for this person along with a signed letter of commitment as an attachment to the proposal.
Prefix:
First Name:
Last Name:
Degree(s):
Title:
Organization:
Street Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:
Fax:
Email Address:

Note:  This information is available as a form on page 14 of Solicitation (PDF file, 18 pages).