Helping Hands Grants

Mental Illness can profoundly disrupt a person’s thinking, moods, ability to relate to others and capacity for coping with the demands of life. While mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, or income level, a profound need exists for improved mental health education and assistance particularly in underserved communities throughout the US. 


To address this issue, the Helping Hands Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 to medical schools for mental health and substance use disorder projects, particularly in underserved minority communities. Funded projects are created and managed by medical students and can be conducted in partnership with community agencies, or in conjuction with ongoing medical school outreach activities.

The program* was established to encourage medical students to participate in community service activities, particularly those focused on underserved populations; raise awareness of mental illness and the importance of early recognition of illness; and build an interest amongst medical students in psychiatry and working in underserved communities. 

The Helping Hands Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000  These projects can be conducted in partnership with community agencies or in conjunction with ongoing medical school outreach activities, and must be supervised by at least one psychiatrist.


Application Deadline

The application deadline for 2016 - 2017 grants has passed. Thank you to all who applied, we look forward to announcing the grantees later this summer.

Be sure to follow the application instructions and submit one original and four copies of a completed application packet. Incomplete applications, or applications submitted via fax or e-mail, will not be reviewed. Please contact Lindsey McClenathan via email ( with any questions regarding the application.


Award Process

Upon selection, in August, the primary medical student author and the Project Administrator will be notified by USPS mail and will include a contract to be signed and returned. If APF does not hear back from you within four weeks, your grant fund may be forfeited. Grant checks will be mailed upon receipt of the signed contract.

*The Helping Hands Grant Program is supported through an unrestricted
educational grant from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. 
                otsuka SM 

If you, or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, click here for a list of resources.