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Community mental health projects get 5m boost

Community projects supporting people with their mental health during the coronavirus pandemic will get a share of £5 million of additional government funding, ministers have announced.

This fund is administered by Mind as part of the Mental Health Consortia, made up of Mind, the Association of Mental Health Providers, Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health Foundation, the National Survivor User Network and Rethink Mental Illness.

Voluntary organisations from across the country – such as local Mind organisations, Ambitious about Autism, Support After Rape and Sexual Violence, LGBT Foundation and Campaign Against Living Miserably – will receive a financial boost to expand their existing support services.

‘This epidemic has had huge consequences for us all, but for some it has been especially difficult, leading to loneliness, anxiety and other mental health challenges,’ said health minister, Nadine Dorries.

‘I believe we must pull together as a nation during these trying times and I am absolutely determined that no one should have to cope with mental illness alone.

‘While our NHS remains open for business and has adapted its care to continue to provide vital mental health care throughout the crisis, this investment will only strengthen what’s on offer and ensure emotional support sits at the heart of the community.’

The local charities benefiting include a wide range of support services including:

  • a Leicester-based women’s centre supporting vulnerable women from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities who may be elderly, at risk of domestic violence or living in poverty
  • a national charity offering online peer sessions to young autistic people to protect their emotional wellbeing throughout the outbreak
  • a Coventry-based support service offering therapy to the families of children affected by cancer across Warwickshire
  • a LGBT Talking Therapies Programme in the Greater Manchester area, which is providing counselling services to people from their own homes during the lockdown period and beyond

This marks the first round of funding to be allocated to the sector, with a second wave of projects to receive funding shortly.

The chief executive of Mind, Paul Farmer said: ‘The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all of us, but is especially hard on those of us living with a mental health problem. The recipients of this much-needed fund are doing incredible work to support those who need them most, both on a national scale and in the community, and the money granted will help them continue to work in innovative ways.

‘There’s still far more to be done, and we look forward to continuing to work together to help combat the mental health emergency we find ourselves in as we fund more organisations across England.’

Photo Credit – Chezbeate (Pixabay)

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