Support group meeting

Government announces £5.4m funding for mental health services

The Government have announced that 113 charities have benefitted from a £5.4m grant to prevent suicide in high-risk groups, as Mental Health Awareness Week commences.

This comes after demand has skyrocketed for mental health services on the back of the pandemic, with the Government set to publish a Suicide Prevention Plan this year to further support those in need.

In 2021, there were over 5,000 suicides registered in England. In both men and women, around 40% of suicides are by people in their 40s and 50s, whilst men aged 45 to 49 have the highest rate.

The funding, which was distributed earlier this year, will go towards additional capacity in crisis helplines, providing signposting to local services, support and information, targeted campaigns aimed at the most high-risk groups, therapy sessions and posthumous support for families of victims.

The voluntary and community services this funding will go to are extremely important when it comes to supporting individuals in the community, ensuring they receive the help they need, whilst also allowing health services to continue tackling the rampant Covid backlog.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “I know how devastating suicide can be and I am committed to making sure the NHS and voluntary sector services have the support they need.”

He added: “We know many more people have been asking for help with their mental health over the last two years and we’re publishing a Suicide Prevention Plan later this year to outline further support for those in need. If you’re struggling, please reach out for support – we’re here to help.”

The charities that have been awarded the funding include:

  • James’ Place Charity, who’ve been awarded £283,968 and provide innovative, free, suicide prevention therapy to men over the age of 18 in Merseyside who are in suicidal crisis.
  • Caribbean & African Health Network, who’ve been awarded £41,599 and address the wider social determinants to reduce health inequalities for people from Caribbean & African communities, tackle taboos around suicide in black communities, raising awareness though workshops and campaigns as well as running virtual chat and support sessions for young people.
  • Chasing the Stigma, who’ve been awarded £51,918 and provide the Hub of Hope, a mental health signposting tool accessed by over 22,000 people per month
  • Papyrus, who’ve been awarded £151,815 and provide confidential support and advice specifically to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person. This support is provided through their HOPELINEUK.

The grant is on top of the already £10.2m that’s been distributed during the pandemic to support mental health charities, with wider support coming via the Mental Health Recovery Action Plan, which itself is backed by £500m and will look to aid those with mental health conditions that have been impacted most by the pandemic.

To properly support the development of this plan the Government has also announced a 12-week call for evidence until the 7th of July, looking to garner insight from the public and the sector in what more can be done to improve the current services and help prevent suicides.

Minister for Mental Health, Gillian Keegan, said: “The suicide prevention voluntary sector has played a crucial role in providing people with the help and support they need throughout the pandemic and I thank them for all they do.”

She added: “Suicides are preventable tragedies when the right support and help is in place. I’m committed to continuing to support the sector and to do all we can to ensure people have the help they need. This Mental Health Awareness Week, I want to be clear that there is support for those struggling – and if you need help, I encourage you to reach out.”

The announcement comes at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, a period of time dedicated to speaking about mental health and ultimately looking to improve your own and other people’s.

A full list of the benefitting charities is available here, with more information about the funding in general available here.

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