Developing effective school-based interventions is one important way to promote better mental, emotional, and behavioral health in children and youth.
It is often stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated children and youth’s struggle with serious mental health issues such as depressive symptoms and thoughts of suicide. While young people were already experiencing mental health challenges prior to the pandemic, research and studies show children and youth from populations suffering from socioeconomic and health inequities experience more mental health challenges because of lack of access to mental health services.
There is preliminary evidence that suggests that incorporating complementary services, such as mindfulness and yoga, provides mental health and stress benefits, that may aid children and youth by improving their social and emotional resiliency and academic performance. However, there have been only a few studies conducted that have determined these findings across multiple schools, which has resulted in evidence gaps.
NEW Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA):
To fill in evidence gaps, the National Center for Complementary and Integrity Health (NCCIH) has a new funding opportunity, Fostering Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral (MEB) Health Among Children in School Settings: Opportunities for Multisite Trials of Complementary and Integrative Health Interventions (Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-AT-23-003). This opportunity will allow for more trials and studies to be conducted at geographically diverse schools.
Below are the details from the National Center for Complementary and Integrity Health website for the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA):
The goal of this FOA is to improve the evidence base on school-based complementary and integrative health interventions to improve youth mental health. Key details include the following:
- The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) intends to commit up to $1.5 million direct costs in FY 2023 to support up to three awards.
- Applications that include multicomponent approaches and evaluate the impact on the whole child are encouraged.
- Projects that focus on reducing health disparities and advancing equity are of high interest.
- Projects should seek to involve collaboration with relevant stakeholders, such as health service providers and systems, community-based organizations, or departments of social services.
- Applications must propose multisite efficacy or effectiveness trials of psychological or physical complementary health approaches. Proposals for other types of projects, such as studies conducted in a single school, animal or in vitro studies, initial feasibility studies, or projects involving dietary supplements, will be considered not responsive to this FOA and will not be reviewed.
- The due date for applications is October 28, 2022.
If you have questions, please contact Dr. Beda Jean-Francois, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is recommended that interested parties reach out early to discuss your potential project and specific aims.
To learn more about this FOA, visit:
Fostering Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral (MEB) Health Among Children in School Settings: Opportunities for Multisite Trials of Complementary and Integrative Health Interventions (Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-AT-23-003)