CMH Initiative: Updates on Funding Opportunities and National Guidelines
Message from the Scientific Director, Dr. Samuel Weiss

The month of May saw rapid growth in the COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative, as well as the achievement of many crucial milestones that ensure the timely delivery of knowledge to Canadians who need it most.

On May 22, Notice of Decisions for the Knowledge Synthesis: COVID-19 in Mental Health and Substance Use funding opportunity were sent out with 45 applications funded — five more than originally slated due to the high quality of applications. We were pleased to see the diversity of populations covered, including Indigenous Peoples and communities, seniors, caregivers, homeless populations, front-line workers and public safety personnel (PSP), to name a few. More information about these grants will be released shortly.

COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative – Populations identified in 45 funded Knowledge Synthesis grants

Long Description
Populations identified in 45 funded Knowledge Synthesis grants Percentage
Indigenous 6%
Healthcare or public safety personnel 8%
Vulnerable or at-risk populations 11%
Substance use 15%
General population 9%
Families, aging, children or youth 28%
Chronic physical or mental health conditions 23%

In addition to the Knowledge Synthesis grants, the CRISM Urgent Guideline Activities Related to COVID-19 directed grant — launched at the beginning of May — has already produced two new guidelines (with four more in development) to meet the urgent needs of people who use drugs, service providers and decision makers during COVID-19:

Visit the CRISM COVID-19 Pandemic National Rapid Guidance website to view all guidelines as they become available. Additionally, to stay informed of process, progress, news and updates related to the CMH Initiative, follow CIHR-INMHA’s:

You are welcome to reach out to our dedicated CMH Initiative inbox ( to provide questions and comments relevant to the CMH Initiative.

Take care and stay safe,

Dr. Samuel Weiss
Scientific Director
CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction

CMH Initiative: Pre-announcement
Operating Grant: COVID-19 Mental Health and Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery funding opportunity

Anticipated Launch: Early June 2020


  1. To understand and address the acute mental health and/or substance use needs of individuals, communities and/or populations, and/or the effects on related care systems, due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. To develop the evidence to better match access to mental health and/or substance use services with the people who need them the most, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

It is required that at least one project participant, other than the Principal Applicant, must be a knowledge user.

Funds available: TBD

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