Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Collaborative Connections to Care Fund for Mental Health

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

October 10, 2016








At least one in five New Yorkers will experience a mental health disorder in any given year. Front-line staff at community-based organizations (CBOs) report that many clients often appear depressed or anxious, which they suspect may interfere with clients’ ability to succeed in programs.

However, with limited mental health training, staff at these organizations are unprepared to deal with clients’ emotional and/or behavioral problems. In response to this issue, New York City  released a plan to guide an overhaul of the City’s mental health services. A key component of the initiative is Connections To Care (C2C), a public-private partnership that aims to build mental illness prevention and treatment capacity of CBOs that work in the areas of workforce development, education, and early childhood services. In 2016, NYHealth awarded Fund for the City of New York a grant, in partnership with the Altman Foundation, to support CBOs in building their capacity to help low-income New Yorkers receive mental health care.

Under this grant, C2C partnered CBOs with mental health providers who trained CBO staff members to screen clients for mental health conditions. Clients who screened positive for a mental health condition were then referred for treatment or clinical care. C2C instructed CBO staff members on evidence-based mental health first aid, motivational interviewing, screening, and psychoeducation. The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and technical assistance partners ensured that trainings delivered to the CBOs met the industry quality standards. C2C worked with the CBOs to ensure practices and techniques are integrated into existing services and the organizational culture at these agencies.