Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: October 24, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez,

Governor Glenn Youngkin Announces $800,000 in Micro-Grants to Help People Struggling with Behavioral Health Disorders

New grants will strengthen faith-based organizations and community organizations efforts to support individuals in prevention and recovery from mental health and substance use disorders

RICHMOND, VA  Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today at his faith leaders forum on mental health that Virginia will provide micro-grants to encourage qualifying faith-based organizations and community organizations to improve access to mental health support and address the opioid crisis. A total of nearly $800,000 has been set aside for community organizations to apply for a grant to provide training and direct care for people in their communities who are struggling with behavioral health issues. The grants will be available in amounts up to $15,000. 

Any qualifying organizations are encouraged to apply for the grants through the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). The grants may be used to fund non-religious activities and programs that provide training for faith-based and other 501(c)3 organizations to better support people with mental illness and address substance use issues. All grantees are to collect and report data on the effectiveness of their programs. 

“Virginia’s behavioral health crisis is far too big a problem for government to tackle on our own,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We must partner with faith-based organizations of all religions and community organizations to bring healing and hope to our neighbors. Our goal is to empower them to serve Virginians and their families struggling with mental health and substance use issues to get them the Right Help, Right Now.”   

Governor Youngkin created Right Help, Right Now to transform Virginia’s behavioral health system and support individuals in mental health and substance use disorder crisis. The three-year Right Help, Right Now plan includes critical goals to expand community service capacity and reduce opioid overdoses.  

“A key to success for Right Help, Right Now is community engagement. We are supporting faith-based organizations and community organizations that are providing quality services because in many cases they are the first point of contact for Virginians in a behavioral health crisis,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel. “We are grateful to add faith-based organizations and community organizations to our team of state agencies, public and private community services providers, schools, public safety, and advocacy groups who are coming together for this critical effort.”   

Through DBHDS, free trainings for Virginians are already available for Mental Health First Aid and a suicide prevention program, ASSIST. Options to use micro-grant funding to expand and deepen training opportunities for faith-based organizations to better serve individuals, families and communities in need of behavioral health assistance.  

“Now, more than ever, the work to expand treatment access, prevention, and community coalitions is critical as we work to strengthen mental health services and reverse opioid epidemic trends,” said DBHDS Commissioner Nelson Smith. “These grants will help jump-start activities we know are effective in faith-based and other settings and will come alongside efforts of state and community providers that are working extremely hard to meet the needs of the community.” 

Additional Details 


  • Any organizations that meet the requirements of IRC section 501 and 501(c)3. 


  • A request for proposals (RFP) will be posted on eVA, the Commonwealth’s electronic marketplace, found at The RFP will be posted under the “business opportunities” tab and found by searching for DBHDS and behavioral health supports for faith-based organizations and community organizations.


  • To be considered, applicants must complete the proposal and application process. 


  • All applicants who receive funding must adhere to the application and federal funding guidelines.  


  • The allocation of these funds is contingent upon the availability of funds.  


  • DBHDS made the funding possible through identifying allowable uses of the federal State Opioid Response Grant and the federal Mental Health Block Grant. 

# # #