Global Mental Health Grand Challenge: Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People

Poor mental health is a fundamental threat to the rights of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic has only further highlighted disparities in the global health system. While low resource populations bear 75% of the global burden of mental illness, only about 10% of their mental health needs are met. This is due to a lack of resources and trained professionals, and poor mental health literacy limiting access to evidence-based solutions. COVID-19 throws these challenges into stark perspective, heightening the need for accessible mental health support as we all grapple with new levels of stress, anxiety and loss.

Grand Challenges Canada is looking for approaches that:

• are culturally sensitive

• are community driven

• are innovative

• add to mental health literacy and/or provide youth-friendly services, while accounting for complex social and environmental factors that contribute to young people’s mental health and wellbeing

• engage young people with lived experiences, and stakeholders, from the outset

Priority will go to youth-led organizations. An increased focus on youth-led innovators is planned for round two. Proposals should show evidence of meaningful involvement of young people with lived experiences, in the design, testing and evaluation of your innovation.


These bold ideas can come from Canada, the United Kingdom or Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible low and middle-income countries. Projects must be for eligible low and middle-income countries listed in Appendix A.

1. Applications must outline:

• which country(s) listed in Appendix A will benefit directly

• how the application is relevant to the development challenges of the country(s)

• how the outcomes will promote health and welfare for people of the country(s).

2. There can only be one Project Lead for each project and they must be affiliated with the applying organization.

3. A Project Lead can only be listed on one application. Single institutions can submit multiple applications but each needs a different Project Lead.

4. Applicants must obtain any legal and/or regulatory approvals, consents or reviews required to accept foreign grant funds and/or conduct the project activities, before concluding a funding agreement.

For more information, please visit the agency website. 


There will be seed grants of up to $250,000 CAD over 18 to 24 months to develop and test innovations. 


Jul 17, 2020: Full Proposal Deadline. SFU Signature Sheet and full proposal due to no later than 3 business days prior to the deadline. Applicants (not ORS) submit applications via agency's portal.

Reminder: Based on the revision of Postdoctoral fellow (PDF) policy (R50.03), please continue to include 14% of PDF benefit in all your proposal budgets.


Upcoming Deadlines