Heads On, official NHS charity for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has awarded £220,000 in grants to voluntary sector organisations – including LGBTQ+ mental health charity MindOut – to deliver suicide prevention programmes and community mental health support as part of the transformation of adult community mental health services in Sussex.
Funded by the Sussex Health & Care Partnership, the Mental Health Community Grants are part of a programme across the county to improve the lives and life expectancy of people with serious mental illness and the way they are supported in their local communities. This work is part of a five-year national programme and brings together health and social care, local authorities, emergency services, voluntary sector organisations and people with lived experience of mental ill health across Sussex to make change happen.
£220,000 has been awarded across projects in Sussex, with a further £380,000 to be allocated throughout 2023. The list of funded projects includes LGBTQ+ mental health charity MindOut, which will receive £20,000 to expand their preventative and crisis support for gay, bisexual and trans men aged 40+, who are experiencing suicidal distress.
Rachael Duke, Head of Charity for Heads On, said “We know getting mental health care and support isn’t always easy. Processes can be long and complicated and demand on services can mean people sometimes having to wait too long without the help or support they need. We want to change this.
“The voluntary sector in Sussex has a rich history of reaching diverse communities across the county that can face real barriers to accessing mental health care, supporting people in places and ways that feel right for them. By working in partnership, the NHS and voluntary sector together can improve the care available for people, supporting them to manage their conditions and move towards recovery on their own terms.
“We are delighted to announce the first tranche of Mental Health Community Grants, awarding £220,000 in ‘Innovate’ and ‘Build’ grants that test new work and scale up projects in the voluntary sector with a proven track record. From peer support to arts-based recovery, mental health support for male travelling communities to suicide prevention training, and specialist therapy for refugees, our funding is targeted at communities in Sussex who need us most, whose mental health is at highest risk of deterioration, and where we can make a real difference by bringing together NHS and voluntary sector support.”