Working on behalf of the Community

Extra funding to support mental wellbeing announced on World Mental Health Day

A new round of grant funding will support community-based schemes and activities that help to promote mental wellbeing and prevent mental ill health on the Island.

On World Mental Health Day, the Isle of Wight Council has announced a further £50,000 will be made available through its Mental Wellbeing Small Grants Fund. The fund supports voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to deliver innovative local projects to support mental wellbeing.

It was launched earlier this year by the council’s Public Health team, in partnership with Mental Health Champion, Councillor Michael Lilley, and Healthwatch Isle of Wight.

Councillor Lilley said:

We are committed to supporting the Island’s residents to look after their mental wellbeing. We know there are relatively simple steps we can all take to improve our wellbeing, including connecting with others, keeping active and getting involved in things across our community. “We have already awarded more than £50,000 to community groups on the frontline to support the most vulnerable in our community and will be doing this further in 2022/23. “The cost-of-living crisis will be hardest for people who may already be vulnerable or on low incomes. It is more important than ever to look after both our own mental health and wellbeing and those around us, helping people get the right support at the time they need it.

There are some fantastic grass-roots projects across the Island providing warm and safe places for those who need to get help, have someone to talk to and find out where they can get more support if they need it.

We need to continue support to these projects and make sure our residents can have the future they want.

The fund was developed to make a real difference to people’s lives through providing support for mental health and wellbeing in places and ways that Islanders really need them. Seventeen organisations received one-off grants of between £350 and £5,000 including Men Only Isle of Wight, who have established a Ryde hub offering non-judgmental support and a safe place for men in the community, and Sensory Space CIC to provide peer support and a safe space for parents with children with additional needs.

Joanna Smith, Healthwatch Isle of Wight manager, said:

We are increasingly hearing from people with increased anxiety who are putting their own health needs on hold as they try to struggle with housing needs, caring for children or older relatives and generally just trying to keep going through this unprecedented time. “Funding through schemes such as the Mental Wellbeing Small Grants Fund helps to keep people safe and enables services to offer a listening ear to people in their local communities.

Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for Public Health, added:

The Mental Wellbeing Small Grants Fund was an important element of our recovery response in helping our Island people and organisations to provide activities supporting health and wellbeing, particularly around mental health and wellbeing. “The success of the scheme — thanks to the work of Councillor Lilley, our Public Health team and Healthwatch Isle of Wight — has inspired the council to dig deep and find the funding to support initiatives again in 2023.”

World Mental Health Day is an annual event promoted globally by the World Health Organisation on 10 October, and nationally by the Mental Health Foundation. It aims at raising awareness of mental health and addressing associated stigma. Meanwhile, the council’s ‘It’s OK…’ campaign continues to support Island residents by signposting people to local support and guidance.

For further information, please visit: https://www.iwmentalhealth.co.uk/ or https://www.islefindit.org.uk/ which has lots of useful links to various services that are freely available to everyone.

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