Time to apply for a community grant

Published on 29 September 2017

COMMUNITY projects to help people overcome mental health problems are getting a helping hand thanks to a new grant funding scheme.

Leicester City Council’s ‘Time To Change’ campaign was launched in July, with the aim of changing attitudes towards mental health issues by encouraging people to talk more openly about issues such as anxiety, depression and stress.

As part of the year-long campaign, the city council is making available funding for community projects across the city which help tackle the stigma around mental health and help people to discuss their issues.

The council’s Community Grants scheme is open to applications for up to £1,500 for local projects or events that contribute directly to combatting the negative attitudes around mental health.

Suitable schemes could include pop-up shops, mental health cafés or conversations within faith or community groups.

The deadline for applications is Friday, October 27.

Around one in four people will suffer with a mental health problem in any given year, with men less likely than women to seek any help.

Fear of discrimination or being judged often prevents people from speaking out or seeking help for their problems.

Leicester deputy city mayor, Cllr Rory Palmer, is also the chair of the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

He launched the original Time To Change campaign at the Parcel Yard pub in London Road in the summer.

Cllr Palmer said: “Despite mental health problems being experienced by many people, they often feel they can’t speak out because they fear being judged.

“Unfortunately there is still a stigma around mental health, which neither encourages people with mental health problems to talk openly, nor helps the public to understand more fully the issues.

“We know that this fear of discrimination puts people with mental issues off talking about their problems or seeking help, which only serves to make matters worse.

“We want to hear from people or organisations which are actively helping tackle this stigma – it might be through offering opportunities for people to talk openly, or by helping people understand more clearly issues surrounding mental health.

“This Community Grants scheme funding will help support groups or events which are making a positive difference.”

Time To Change will focus on different groups of people at risk from mental health problems throughout the year, including pregnant women and new mothers, children and younger people, students and older people. 

The Time to Change campaign is the biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination across England.

To apply for funding, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/mentalhealth and click on 'Time To Change'.