The new fund looking to tackle mental health inequalities will be live by Tuesday (November 30), with £750,000 to be distributed in the south of Scotland to local third sector organisations and voluntary groups.
Grassroots community groups, social enterprises, and third sector organisations will be able to benefit from the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, with an application closing date of mid January.
The new fund, announced last month, aims to support adult community-based initiatives to help address the impact of distress and mental ill health caused by social isolation and loneliness, as well as addressing the mental health inequalities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway (TSDG) is working with established local partnerships to help distribute the funds in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders through scoring panels.
The funding is provided by the Scottish Government as part of a wider £15 million programme for Covid-19 recovery, aimed at adult-focused community-based initiatives.
Earlier this year, Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) were recognised for their work in distributing funds through the pandemic with close relationships in communities, in what was a first-of-its-kind scheme. Building on this work, TSIs are delivering the fund locally across Scotland, with TSDG having formed a steering group to develop priorities and guidance that reflect the needs of the respective areas.
Norma Austin Hart, Chief Executive Officer at TSDG, said: “The pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health inequalities and has had a disproportionate impact on the mental wellbeing of a range of groups in society.
“The Fund will help address the needs of a range of vulnerable groups locally, while supporting our grass roots community groups and organisations to deliver required services that will give people the chance to connect, build trusted relationships, and revitalise communities.”
It is hoped it will be a recurring fund next year and applications are sought to address a number of needs.
These include recovery from addiction, social isolation and loneliness, suicide prevention, dementia community supports, access to physical activity, as well as diet and nutrition.
For more details about the fund and how to apply, please visit www.tsdg.org.uk/cmhwf. The web page will not go live until the fund is open.
Webinars giving more details on the fund are being held on Tuesday and Thursday December 7 and 9. For more or to book, click here: Webinars