Grand Challenges Canada’s Global Mental Health program supports Bold Ideas with Big Impact.® The aim of the program is to seed and transition to scale high impact innovations that support the mental health needs of underserved individuals, in particular young people, in low-and middle-income countries.
Mental health challenges contribute to 14 percent of the global burden of disease worldwide; 81 percent of this burden occurs in low- and middle-income countries. Individuals living with mental health challenges in these regions experience a scarcity of resources and a shortage of trained professionals, limiting their access to evidence-based treatments. Support for mental health services in low- and middle-income countries consistently lags behind other health priorities, despite the fact that mental health challenges are a prominent global health concern.
Youth Mental Health
The global mental health burden is magnified for youth living in low resources settings. The majority of mental health challenges – 75 percent – start before the age of 24. Poor mental health in youth negatively impacts the development of social connections, cultural belonging, emotional wellbeing, educational opportunities, and economic resources. The majority of these challenges can be addressed and supported if mental health conditions are identified and treated early. Despite this, only 12.5 percent of development assistance for mental health targets youth. With the added stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic, this critically neglected cohort needs more investment and innovation.
The Global Mental Health program seeks transformational, affordable, and accessible innovations that have the potential to be sustainable at a larger scale. We fund early-stage seed innovations that target youth mental health as well as later-stage Transition-to-Scale innovations addressing mental health challenges across the lifespan.
By investing in innovations that integrate mental health care into education, health, and social care settings in low- and middle-income countries, Grand Challenges Canada supports person-centered, community-based mental health services that meet people where they are.
Impact to Date
Grand Challenges Canada has supported one of the largest portfolios of global mental health innovations in the world, investing over $57 million CAD to support 124 projects in 42 countries. The 124 projects are comprised of 83 proofs-of-concept and 41 Transition-to-Scale.
The youth mental health funding opportunity is now closed. Applicants will be notified of their application results according to the timeline outlined in the Request for Proposals.
Sign up for the Global Mental Health mailing list to be the first to hear about future funding opportunities and other program announcements.
For any questions or inquiries, please email ac.se1653333420gnell1653333420ahcdn1653333420arg@h1653333420tlaeh1653333420latne1653333420mlabo1653333420lg1653333420