The Health Minister has announced he will put £10million to support people suffering from mental health which will come out of the Department of Health’s COVID allocation.
Split into three award categories organisations in the community and voluntary sector or those with a charity status will be able to appeal for grants from £5,000 - £30,000, £30,000 - £100,000 and in exceptional circumstances £100,000 - £500,000.
Minister Robin Swann said: “I am very aware of the challenges faced by many at this difficult time. I am also very aware of how hard everyone is working in the community and voluntary sectors, to provide care and support where it is needed.
“The Fund will equip and enable charitable organisations to provide a wide range of support services for people with mental ill health.
“The knowledge and experience of the community and voluntary sector is vital in the delivery of mental health services and going forward, we must provide the right tools and systems to ensure that those who need help receives the help they need.”
Requests for large projects can be made now via the Community Foundation Website, smaller initiatives can apply from September 2021.
Orla Black, Director of Grants with the Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be opening the Mental Health Support Fund today. It will provide millions of pounds in support to community and voluntary sector organisations. The fund will be available for three years which means that it can make an impact over a longer period of time, which we know will create a meaningful difference in the lives of many.
"Now open online, we are aiming to provide the first round of grants within a two-month period as we are really keen to get some of these monies issued and making a difference as soon as possible so they can make an impact for the people who need it most.”
The announcement follows the 10 year Mental Health Strategy which was published last week by the minister.
Swann said: “The Strategy seeks to fully integrate the community and voluntary sector in the development and delivery of mental health services. This recognises the good work carried out outside the statutory sector and will bring these valuable partners into the work to improve mental health outcomes.”
The Mental Health Support Fund was announced in April 2021.
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