In 2011 AACAP’s Endowment supported the following programs:
Advocacy and Collaboration Grants
For the past five years the AACAP Endowment has funded the Advocacy and Collaboration Grants program which offers financial assistance to projects developed by AACAP regional organizations (ROCAPs) that improve access to mental health resources.
ROCAPs partner with community allies and work together to create these projects. As states attempt to balance their budgets, often children's mental health programs are the cut first. The Advocacy and Collaboration Grants program fills the gap for funding first time initiatives by giving a $3,000 grant to ROCAPs for collaborative projects.
In 2010 AACAP funded 5 projects by California, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, and New York ROCAPs. As an example of a project, the Maryland ROCAP partnered with 6 community mental health organizations to enhance the ability of primary care providers in a low-resource area to detect, treat, and refer children with mental health problems. The project focuses on two primary care offices that serve rural populations with high rates of unemployment and who also face geographic barriers to accessing mental health services.
Educational Outreach Program for CAP Residents
The Educational Outreach Program funds travel grants for child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) residents to attend the AACAP Annual Meeting. This program began over ten years ago and awards CAP residents matching travel stipends of $750. CAP Residents are required to participate in the mentorship program and attend special events such as the Career Development Program and the Young Leaders Award Luncheon. Administered by the Committee on Medical Student and Residents, the program funded 33 residents to attend the 2010 Annual Meeting in New York providing those individuals with the opportunity to experience the cutting edge science and network with members and other residents that could eventually become valuable professional contacts.
The Parent Summit, a project initiated under AACAP Past President Robert Hendren, D.O. (2007 - 2009) establishes a dialogue between the leadership of national mental health organizations. Twice a year the board presidents and executive directors of organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, and Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (CHADD) meet in Washington, D.C. at AACAP headquarters to discuss issues currently affecting the field of children's mental health. Through this dialogue the group formulates strategies to work together to advocate for mental health issues.
In September 2010, the Parent Summit started an initiative between the groups to combat the media blaming "bad parenting" as the cause of children's mental illnesses. A growing trend in media coverage targeted bad parenting habits or lack of a discipline structure traditionally set by parents as the reason for over the top rebellious behavior or aggression in very young children. AACAP, along with 6 other national mental health organizations, devised a strategic plan to bring about awareness of mental illness signs and symptoms in young children.