This request for application (RFA) invites organizations in the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) service region to apply for funds to plan and develop or implement a community-based, multi-sector, collaborative program that aims to minimize the use of law enforcement in situations involving individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.
Although momentum for change is building, communities across Missouri are at different points of readiness for diverting people away from the justice system and into appropriate services and support. Progress in providing behavioral health care instead of incarceration will happen at the community level and depends significantly on the community’s existing infrastructure, knowledge, attitudes, collaboration, and resource allocation. MFH’s approach will support community cooperation to increase awareness of diversion and to increase and improve service options that minimize law enforcement involvement with people with mental health and substance use disorders.
Organizations can apply for one of the following community-based grant categories.
Category 1: Strategic Partnerships and Collaborative Planning
Within a local community, there may be various opinions about and approaches to addressing the needs of citizens with mental health and substance use disorders. Understanding that successful diversion efforts are built with community members providing input on the problems and potential solutions, activities in this category would engage key individuals in planning, preparing, and building support for activities aimed at changing or improving responses to people in crises and minimizing criminal justice involvement.
Category 2: Strategy Implementation
There is growing awareness and momentum in many communities to increase access to services and divert those with mental health and substance use disorders issues away from the justice system. For communities that have engaged in strategic partnership development and collaborative planning around diversion as described above, funds can be requested to support implementation activities.