Funding worth £10m for mental health charities announced

Mental health charities in Northern Ireland are set to benefit from £10m in funding.

The Mental Health Support Fund has been announced by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and will be managed by Community Foundations NI.

Community and voluntary sector organisation offering support for people with mental health issues in Northern Ireland are eligible to apply for the fund. Application rounds taking place in stages over the next two years.

Applicants will be asked to focus on one of a number of key themes on how they will improve the emotional wellbeing of people in Northern Ireland.

These include improving access to talking therapies and other support services as well as supporting families' wellbeing through technology.

Reducing stigma associated with mental health and promoting peer support work are among other themes of the fund.

“Our local charity sector provides important and vital mental health support services to many in our communities. It is important that those services are maintained, particularly during these challenging times, said Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann.

“The new Mental Health Support Fund will equip and enable these charities in providing a wide range of support services for people with mental ill health and help to ensure that those who need to can continue to access mental health support services in the community."

The first invitation for funding submissions is expected “within the next few months and will be accessible through the Community Foundation website”, said the Department of Health.

Community Foundation NI director of philanthropy Síofra Healy added: “We’re pleased that the department is prioritising this issue and including capacity support for the charities that continue to deliver these services and are often the backbone of support for people who need mental health support.

“We will work with charities large and small within our community and across NI to ensure this funding reaches and addresses the needs identified.”

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