Mind awarded funding totalling £436,000

16 May 2013

Mind, the leading mental health charity, has been awarded funding by People’s Health Trust to launch nine pilot projects that will support unemployed men and new mums to look after their mental wellbeing during challenging periods in their lives.

Mind believes that with targeted support, people can build resilience and coping skills which will reduce their likelihood of developing mental health problems. As part of the charity’s resilience programme, a number of groups have been identified who are at particular risk of poor mental health, such as those exposed to social isolation, discrimination and economic deprivation[1], and Mind is now piloting approaches to support these groups to stay well.

Local Minds in York, Tower Hamlets and Newham in London, Merthyr and the Valleys in Wales, Darlington, and City and Hackney in London, will receive a grant to provide support to unemployed men. A study from 2009 estimated that the percentage of people with psychological problems increases from 16% among the employed to 34% among the unemployed[2]. The projects will provide structured, practical activities, such as gardening projects or DIY handiwork projects, which support wellbeing and community engagement and help them to improve their skills.

Four Local Minds in Ulverston, Coventry, Peterborough and Fenland and the West Midlands will also be given grants to support pregnant women and new mothers. Currently, 15% of women will experience a perinatal mental illness in the first trimester of their pregnancy, and 10% of new mothers will experience post natal depression in the UK[3]. The projects will provide on-going support to mums throughout pregnancy and the first year after birth, weekly drop-in peer support groups, and weekly home visits by trained befrienders who provide practical and emotional help as well as friendship and encouragement. The projects will help women to build new social connections and reduce isolation - a significant risk factor in post natal depression.

Sarah Louise Long, 35, from Ulverston, experienced severe post-natal depression after the birth of her youngest son Thomas. She has been supported by the mum’s project at Ulverston Mind. Sarah said: “After Thomas was born, I found myself crying all the time and I just felt completely desperate. I couldn’t cope with the pressure and I didn’t know where to turn, and my other son, James, was demanding more and more attention. I also didn’t have any family members to turn to in the local area.

“I found out about the mums’ project from my GP and it’s turned my life around. I went to the weekly drop-in centre and although it was hard getting used to discussing my issues in such a public way, it really helped to be able to talk openly to other mums who had been through similar experiences. It was also nice to feel that you didn’t have to talk to people all the time, you could just be there and enjoy a safe and calming environment.

“I have explored a variety of treatment options, but I don’t know what I’d have done without access to group support. I’m actually going to start volunteering at the project soon and hopefully I’ll be able to help other mums who have experience with post-natal depression, like me.”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received these grants from the People’s Health Trust using money raised by society lotteries through The Health Lottery. It will help us to provide tailored support based on individual needs for two of the groups that we know are most likely to develop a mental health problem.

“With NHS trusts looking to make efficiency savings of £20billion over the next four years, Mind knows that this will have a huge impact on the support services that those affected by mental health problems can access. That’s why funding for pilot projects like these is so valuable and will help us to ensure that we can be there for more people at the earliest possible stage.”

John Hume, Chief Executive of People’s Health Trust, said: “Communities are experiencing some of their hardest times at the moment. We’re delighted to be able to fund initiatives like this which provide invaluable opportunities for people to gain essential support.”

For more information about the projects and other services at Local Minds, visit www.mind.org.uk/about/the_network

People’s Health Trust distributes money raised by 51 community interest companies through The Health Lottery. For more information, visitwww.peopleshealthtrust.org.uk.

 

[1] For more information regarding groups most at risk, see notes to editors

[2]  2009, Paul and Moser http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001879109000037

[3] Oates, M. (1994) Postnatal mental illness: organisation and function of services. In Perinatal Psychiatry: Use and Misuse of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (eds J. Cox & J. Holden), pp. 8–33. London: Gaskell
 

 

 

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