£2.7m cash boost for local communities to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination

England’s biggest mental health anti-stigma campaign, Time to Change, is launching a new grants scheme that will see £2.7 million awarded to local community groups to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.  

Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief, is distributing the grants to local community-led projects as part of the programme’s drive to improve public attitudes and behaviour in relation to mental health. The national campaign, which has been fronted by Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax and Frank Bruno, has already had a positive impact on levels of discrimination. Such high profile campaigns in conjunction with community driven activity have been shown to be an effective and sustainable way of delivering social change.

The grants fund will support work led by people with mental health problems to establish meaningful and open conversations with others in different communities across the country.

Time to Change is looking to support diverse and innovative projects that will bring communities together with a clear focus on mental health. This could cover a range of settings and activities including training, organising festivals and cultural events, producing drama and music events, or setting up sports matches - which will bring people who don’t have mental health problems into social contact with those who do. Evidence suggests that this kind of contact is one of the most effective ways of breaking down stigma and discrimination.

The new scheme will fund 75 local projects between May 2012 and March 2015. Out of the £2.7million, 20% of the fund will be awarded to projects that work with young people and 25% for projects run by and for people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “We know that one of the most powerful ways to change attitudes is when people take the lead in driving change within their own communities.  What works in one community may not work in another, so through the grants scheme we are putting the power to make change happen locally in the hands of the experts – the people who know their communities the best. 

“The scheme is a natural evolution of the work we have been doing over the last four years to empower people with mental health problems to be at the forefront of challenging mental health stigma and discrimination in England.”

The fund is now open for the first round of applications and the deadline for applications is 2pm on 30 March 2012. Grants will be awarded in May, with a further round opening in the autumn, and two more in 2013.  If people are not successful this time they will be able to apply once more in a future round.

In this first round, there will be three levels of grants: small grants of up to £20,000; medium grants up to £40,000; and large grants up to £80,000.  There will also be the opportunity for four flagship grants up to £100,000 between now and 2015, which work across more than one region of England. 

For more information have a look at our grants page.

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For more information please contact Hayley Richardson, Time to Change Senior Media Officer, on h.richardson@time-to-change.org.uk or 0208 2152 358/ 07789 721 966. Follow Hayley on Google+

Notes to Editors

Time to Change
Time to Change is England's most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.  The programme is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief. 

For more information go to www.time-to-change.org.uk

Department of Health
On 2 February 2011 the Department of Health launched No health without mental health, a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages which has the twin aims of keeping people well and improving their mental health and, when people are not well, improving their outcomes through high-quality services.

The strategy is based on six shared objectives, developed with partners from across the mental health sector, and focuses on ‘Recovery’ and the reduction of stigma and discrimination as overarching themes. 

To help deliver the objective to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems, in 2011 the Department agreed to support Time to Change, the anti-stigma campaign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The Department of Health is providing the campaign with up to £16 million of funding together with a further £4 million from Comic Relief. This funding will help Time to Change continue their work until March 2015.

Comic Relief
Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure people with mental health problems get their voices heard in the decisions that affect their lives and get the help they need to recover. Comic Relief also helps people to promote their rights and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face so that they feel more included in society.  The £4 million grant to Time to Change is the second time the charity has awarded Time to Change its largest UK grant and is part of Comic Relief's long standing commitment to this issue. For more information go to www.comicrelief.com

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