The Wisconsin Partnership Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health has announced an additional $1.6 million in COVID-19 Response grant funding to help address the toll the pandemic is taking on the social and emotional health of our state’s adolescents.

Communities across the state continue to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals’ health and wellbeing, and it is widely recognized that children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the social and emotional health effects of the pandemic. Over the past year, they have navigated school closures and the postponement of social activities, illness or death of loved ones and stress due to the multitude of other pandemic impacts.

In response to this ongoing challenge, the Wisconsin Partnership Program has developed the COVID-19 Response Focus on Adolescent Social and Emotional Health Grant Program. Through the new grant program, the Partnership’s Oversight and Advisory Committee (OAC) will allocate up to $1.6 million to support community organizations in their efforts to address the social and emotional health needs of adolescents (ages 10–21 years).

Awards of up to $200,000, for up to two years, will support effective and innovative approaches to addressing the social and emotional health of adolescents. The Wisconsin Partnership Program anticipates funding up to eight projects. Letters of intent are due May 17, 2021. Eligible community lead organizations must be a Wisconsin-based, nonprofit, IRS tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, pre-K-12 school or district or a tribal or local government entity.

The COVID-19 Response Focus on Social and Emotional Health Grant Program will fund activities that may include, but are not limited to, the following approaches:

  • connecting adolescents to resources that build resilience and self-efficacy, provide connection and social support
  • increasing social and emotional health workforce diversification and capacity
  • testing and/or scaling of effective models (including models that address screening and access to sustainable funding)
  • training for social/emotional health providers to acquire innovative therapeutic approaches
  • training for parents and caregivers that provides skills to support the needs of their families.

The COVID-19 Response Focus on Adolescent Social and Emotional Health Grant Program builds upon the Wisconsin Partnership Program’s initial COVID-19 Response Grant program, which, to date, has awarded more than $3 million in grants to support community organizations and UW faculty in addressing the immediate health challenges of the pandemic.

The Wisconsin Partnership Program is an endowment within the UW School of Medicine and Public Health committed to improving health and advancing health equity through investments in community partnerships, education and research. It was established in 2004 through an unprecedented gift as part of the conversion of Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin to a stock insurance corporation. To date, the Wisconsin Partnership Program has awarded more than 500 research, education and community partnership grants totaling more than $245 million to improve the health of the people of Wisconsin.

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