The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $350,000, in Phase I prizes of $25,000 each to 14 finalists for their community-led solutions to promote resilience in children and adolescents under the HHS Children and Youth Resilience Challenge.
The Resilience Challenge is funding community-led solutions that:
- Promote resilience and advance mental health and well-being among children and youth
- Reduce the risk for negative mental health outcomes among children and youth
- Promote positive strategies and solutions that help children and youth thrive
- Identify and elevate promising practices that promote culturally and linguistically responsive protective factors
Children and youth in the United States are experiencing a profound mental health crisis. Among youth ages 12 to 17 who experienced a major depressive episode, nearly half perceived that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected their mental health. Emergency department visits for children’s mental health concerns have also increased significantly. These patterns are intensified among children and adolescents exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
“Promoting the ability of our children and youth to adapt in the face of adversity is critical to avoiding long-term negative mental health outcomes and to improving the well-being of individuals and their communities. Our approach must be inclusive, comprehensive, and community-led,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm. “That is the approach we have taken with the HHS Roadmap for Behavioral Health Integration. And thanks to President Biden, we are finally and seriously saying to Americans struggling with their mental health: We hear you. Support is here.”
This past May, HHS announced the launch of a $1 million Children and Youth Resilience Challenge as part of the President’s Unity Agenda and Mental Health Strategy. The Challenge is also an initiative of the HHS Behavioral Health Coordinating Council Subcommittee on Children and Youth and included as part of the HHS Roadmap for Behavioral Health Integration.
A challenge (also referred to as a “prize competition”) is a way for federal agencies to crowdsource and engage the public directly to find creative ideas or solutions to important problems. This first-ever Children and Youth Resilience Challenge is funding innovative community-led solutions to promote resilience in children and adolescents, birth to age 24, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters. HHS strongly encouraged proposals from community-based organizations serving children, youth-led organizations, and teams that partner with community-based and youth-led organizations.
This July, HHS received more than 500 submissions outlining diverse, culturally relevant, and community-grounded ideas for how to promote resilience among children and youth. This extraordinary response was one of the largest in Challenge.gov’s history.
“The overwhelming interest in this Challenge from across the nation underlines both the urgency of addressing children and youth mental health following the pandemic and also the inspiring wealth of creativity and innovation in our communities.” said Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel L. Levine, M.D. “Communities truly are the ultimate problem solvers, and we look forward to partnering with and learning from these 14 innovators over the next eight months.”
The 14 Phase I Finalists will have access to intensive technical assistance and a community of learning to support implementation of their solutions in Phase II between September 2023 and May 2024. At the end of Phase II, Finalists may compete for the final prize. One grand prize winner will receive $300,000 and up to two runners-up will receive $175,000 each.
Children and Youth Resilience Challenge Phase I Finalists
|Location||Project Name||Affiliation||Age Range|
|PA||ACEs Screening at Well-Child Visits to Build Risk-Level Tailored Clinic to Community Response (ALLIANCE)||Geisinger||Early Childhood|
|DC||A Two Generation Approach to Building Children and Youth Resilience||Briya Public Charter School||Early Childhood|
|KY||Building Resilience in Louisville Youth||Kentucky Youth Advocates, Inc.||School-Aged|
|MI||Cody Calm Center||Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance CDC||Adolescent, Young Adult|
|CA||FostrSpace: Peer-Led, Digital Health Resilience Building for Foster Youth||University of California, San Francisco||Adolescent, Young Adult|
|NE||Hope Champions Network||Project Harmony||School-Aged, Adolescent|
|CA||Nate’s Place, A Wellness and Recovery Center||Nate’s Place, A Wellness and Recovery Center||Adolescent, Young Adult|
|AR||Project Mindful Matters||Boys & Girls Club of Benton County||School-Aged, Adolescent|
|NM||Project Radical Hope: Mental/Behavioral Health Supports for Indigenous Youth||National Indian Youth Leadership Project||Adolescent|
|LA||ReACTion: Exploring the Healing Power of Creative Spaces||Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies||Adolescent, Young-Adult|
|PA||Students Run Philly Style’s MileUp Program: Building Resilience Through Sport, Mentorship, & Systems-Based Change||Students Run Philly Style||Adolescent, Young Adult|
|National||Trans Mentor Project||Sam & Devorah Foundation for Transgender Youth||Adolescent, Young Adult|
|TX||Travis County Transformation Project||Amala Foundation||Adolescent, Young Adult|
|CA||Youth Health Ambassadors: Empowering Fresno County Youth to Overcome Barriers and Thrive||Fresno Community Health Improvement Project||Adolescent|
For more information about this Challenge, please visit www.challenge.gov/?challenge=resilience.