The Department of Health and Human Services agency that funds care for children with serious mental illness has released an RFP for strategic communications and social marketing counsel for the state, regional and local programs it funds across the U.S.  

mental healthThe Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program, launched in 1992, funds community groups to help children with serious mental health challenges, as well as their families.

The program, known as the Children's Mental Health Initiative, is under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the NIH.

The RFP calls for implementation of a strategic communications plan, media outreach and crisis communications training, and social marketing assistance to states, territories and tribes funded through the CMHI.

A broad audience is the target of the PR efforts, including children, youth, emerging adults, families, educators, child-serving agencies, public health, substance abuse and mental health professionals, businesses, faith-based organizations, community advocacy groups, and local, county, and state legislators.

The SAMHSA hopes the PR training "will help grantees develop, expand and sustain systems of care to improve the lives of children and youth with mental health conditions and their families," according to the RFP, which notes President Obama directed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arnie Duncan in 2013 to launch a national conversation on mental health.

A one-year contract with four option years is expected.

Proposals are due April 14. View the RFP (link).