Coronavirus: Coalition of charities launches fund to support other charities through mental health crisis

A coalition of UK charities has formed to launch a new fund to help ramp up support as the country 'faces a mental health crisis' due to Covid-19.

The coalition, which includes charities such as the Samaritans, Young Minds, Mental Health Foundation, Mind and the City Mental Health Alliance, has launched the Mental Health Sustainability Fund aimed at raising 'money and minutes' for supporting mental health services.

The launch comes as the UN warned of a global mental health pandemic because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Goldman Sachs has committed an initial £400k to the fund, but the coalition is aiming to raise £5m in funding and one million minutes in volunteering time to help charities deliver vital mental health support during the crisis.

All financial donations and offers of volunteering will be administered by the Association of Mental Health Providers and a governance group will oversee the criteria for funding applications.

The group will be tasked with ensuring the right balance between governance and speed of matching needs with skills and funding distribution for those who most need support.

Commenting, the Association of Mental Health Providers CEO, Kathy Roberts said: “The sector continues to face many challenges in delivering services during COVID-19 and it is vital that service providers working in the community are supported to enable them to continue delivering essential, life-saving services to vulnerable people who need it most.

"With a potential mental health crisis imminent amongst people with existing as well as no pre-existing conditions, and the workforce within the health and social care system as a result of COVID-19, we need to consider and invest in services which will minimise the long term impact of the pandemic.

"The pandemic has brought to the fore the health inequalities that have always existed in society. We hope that financial assistance from our private partners will help to support the organisations working in the community to address these.”

The coalition of charities includes National Survivor User Network, Place2be, The Mix Charity, Young Minds, Association of Mental Health Providers, Mental Health Foundation, Rethink Mental Illness, Helplines Partnership, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, City Mental Health Alliance, Mind, Samaritans, Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health Innovations UK and Student Minds.

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