November 28, 2022
Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)
All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.
Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
Office of Nutrition Research (ONR)
As part of the NIH ADVANCE: Advancing Prevention Research for Health Equity initiative, this RFI seeks input from a variety of interested parties, including but not limited to healthcare providers/organizations, complementary and integrative health clinical institutions, mental health clinics, mental health advocacy organizations, schools/educational institutions, community- and faith-based organizations, state or local governmental organizations, and researchers, on practical and innovative interventions or programs that contribute to the primary or secondary prevention of mental health problems and promotion of mental health wellness in populations that experience health disparities. Input from community-based service providers and other community-based organizations about promising or successful approaches in their communities is particularly encouraged.
Of additional particular interest are interventions that move beyond the provision of mental health treatment to encompass strategies that address social determinants of health that operate as risk or protective factors for psychological distress and the development of mental health problems. Also of interest are strategies to implement, sustain, and disseminate such interventions.
The US is currently facing a mental health crisis that spans across age groups, populations, and geographic regions (see https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/05/31/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-highlights-strategy-to-address-the-national-mental-health-crisis/). Populations that experience health disparities, including racial and ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities, face a host of psychosocial and structural stressors and environmental conditions that place them at elevated risk for experiencing psychological distress, developing mental health problems, and experiencing longer duration and disability stemming from existing mental health conditions.
Although many current initiatives emphasize expansion of and increased access to behavioral health care as a vehicle to address mental health disparities, prevention of mental health problems before they require treatment is also essential to improving the nation’s mental health overall and promoting mental health equity in particular. Successful prevention of mental health problems requires addressing social determinants of health, including the conditions and stressors that individuals, groups, and populations experience in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. Addressing these social determinants requires moving beyond individual attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors to address factors at the interpersonal, family, organizational, community, and societal level, and for organizations across different human service sectors to work collaboratively to create environments that decrease psychological distress and promote mental wellness.
Populations that experience health disparities (HD Populations): Populations defined in section 464z-3(d)(1) of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 285t(d)(1) as “health disparity populations” based on higher overall rates of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or survival rates in the population as compared to the health status of the general population. NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations currently include Black Americans/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities.
Community: A specific group of people, often living in a defined geographic area, who share a common culture, values, and norms and who are arranged in a social structure according to relationships the community has developed over time. The term “community” encompasses worksites, schools, and health care sites (see https://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/terminology.htm). Communities may be self-defined (e.g., the SGM community in a city or county) or defined by the catchment area of local government or service providers (e.g., residents served by a county school district, police district, or community health center). Additional examples of communities include but are not limited to neighborhoods, reservations or tribal communities, military bases, or college campuses. Virtual or other communities that do not reside in the same geographic location are not the focus of this RFI.
Primary prevention involves interventions or policies designed to prevent or reduce risk factors for developing a new mental health condition before health effects occur.
Secondary prevention involves interventions or policies designed to prevent the development of a new mental health condition among those with identified risk factors, recurrence of a mental health condition, or progression of an early-stage mental health condition.
Social Determinants of Health (SDOH): The conditions in environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes (see: Social Determinants of Health - Healthy People 2030 | health.gov).
Multi-sectoral intervention: An intervention that involves the collaboration of two or more service sectors (e.g., health [including healthcare systems as well as complementary and integrative health settings], public health, education, housing, labor, social services, child welfare, transportation, parks and recreation, commerce, justice, environmental protection, etc.) at the city, county, regional, tribal, or state level. Institutions of higher learning or other research organizations are not considered as a service sector for the purposes of this RFI.
Levels of Influence: The socio-ecological levels (e.g., individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, or societal) at which specific determinants operate to influence risk factors and subsequent health outcomes (see the NIMHD Research Framework, https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/about/overview/research-framework.html, for examples of health determinants at different levels of influence). A multi-level intervention is an intervention that impacts determinants at two or more socio-ecological levels.
This RFI seeks information from the community about potential or existing primary or secondary preventive intervention strategies addressing SDOH to prevent mental health problems in populations experiencing health disparities.
Examples of topics of interest are provided below. This list is not exhaustive; information on relevant topics that extend beyond this list are encouraged. Respondents are free to address any or all topics listed below. It is not necessary for ideas, strategies, programs, or interventions mentioned to have already been examined or evaluated in research studies.
How to Submit a Response
All responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically on the RFI submission website by March 1, 2023 at 11:59 pm EST. You will see an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response.
Responses to this RFI are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. You may voluntarily include your name and contact information with your response. If you choose to provide NIH with this information, NIH will not share your name and contact information outside of NIH unless required by law.
Other than your name and contact information, please do not include any personally identifiable information or any information that you do not wish to make public. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. Other than your name and contact information, the Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements. This RFI is for informational and planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for use of that information.
We look forward to your input and hope that you will share this RFI opportunity with your colleagues and collaborators.