Logo DarkLogo Light

Behavioral Health Application

The eXtension Foundation’s Behavioral Health (BH) Impact Collaborative (IC) opens applications for willing participants to begin development as an innovation catalyst.  The Impact Collaborative process enables teams to develop novel approaches and projects around various topic areas.  Once a part of the Impact Collaborative, teams are invited to attend eXtension Designathon One and Two events, which walk teams through steps of innovating new ideas for programs and activities.  As a part of the Impact Collaborative, teams will be able to engage in Virtual Bridge events which include webinars about behavioral health topics of interest.  More information about the Impact Collaborative process, including benefits of participation, can be found here.

Applicants concentrate on developing Behavioral Health programs and practices for both internal (Cooperative Extension) and external innovation.  Applications can be started at any time and can be updated as you add team members, get your letter of acknowledgement, and so on.

For questions, contact Behavioral Health Program Fellows, Jami Dellifield or Courtney Cuthbertson.

Start your application…

Behavioral health is broadly defined as mental health and substance use issues across the lifespan, including variations by gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, occupational status, veteran status, and socioeconomic status.  Behavioral health includes mental illness as well as mental well-being.

Through the Impact Collaborative process, teams will develop ideas for programs to engage local communities, by making use of the best evidence- and practice-based information available.  Proposals should be positioned within the social ecological model, social determinants of health, a health equity lens, or other relevant framework that acknowledges Cooperative Extension’s role in providing critical health education to community members to enable them to be healthy where they live, learn, work, and play.

Proposals should include at least a behavioral health topic or audience of interest.  Proposals could answer the following questions:

  • A proposed idea, project, or program to use with a community.
  • What target audience might you work with?
  • What change is the proposal seeking to create?  Is this a new idea or an existing project you wish to develop further?
  • Is there known success for the proposed idea?
  • How will the proposed activities and/or their outcomes or impact be measured?


The BH IC is looking for innovative teams (team member limit of 5) that include individuals from eXtension Foundation member institutions, community partners, and 4-H youth and volunteers.

Suggested topics include and are not limited to:

  • General mental health or substance use
  • Substance misuse prevention
  • Opioid misuse prevention
  • Veteran mental health (including military families and youth)
  • Farmer/rancher mental health
  • Mental health and substance use among sexual and gender minorities (i.e., LGBTQ)
  • Suicide prevention and awareness (including among youth, veterans, sexual and gender minorities, populations, and farmers/ranchers)
  • Race, ethnicity, and mental health
  • Tribal/indigenous mental health
  • Historical trauma
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACES)
  • Behavioral health equity
  • Disability justice
  • Recovery and support for people with lived experience
  • Implementing Mental Health First Aid www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org
  • Building behavioral health community coalitions (e.g.,CAPE www.healthbench.info)

Possible strategies:

  • Leading coalition or council for substance use prevention or mental health

Possible outcomes:

  • Program designed, including program components, partners to include, how to pitch the program to stakeholders
  • Ready to apply for external funding

Important Dates:

Impact Collaborative Summit (includes Innovation Kit Workshop and Designathon Two): October 16-18, Indianapolis, IN. Registration offers the opportunity for teams to become the Designated Member Team from their Premium or Basic member institution and receive free registration for team members. Participants are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and per diem costs. Learn more about the Summit and get started right away with your Behavioral Health team.

For more information about the social ecological model, see:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/crccp/sem.htm

For more information about health equity, see:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Health Equity Institute
American Public Health Association
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration