This two-year grant supports monthly meeting for members - people who identify as LGBT+ and with lived experience of mental health conditions living in parts of North East England including Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and Sunderland

Pride in Mind receive donation

Participants have control over the project and at the monthly meetings, members plan future social activities. The meetings are also a safe space to share their mental health concerns and receive support from either the group’s facilitators or peers. Through the opportunity to come together in a physical space in different areas of the North East, participants have been able to form social connections which they can rely on outside of just the project.

During Covid-19 lockdowns phone support was set up for participants with a psychotherapist to ensure participants could continue receiving mental health support. During this period, more members experienced social isolation which impacted people’s mental and physical health.

Since the end of Covid-19 lockdowns, there has been regular social activities outside of the monthly meetings. Members can influence the group by suggesting potential social trips at these meetings or on an ad-hoc basis such as trips to the theatre or LGBT+ film screenings. People from across the different areas and monthly support groups attend social activities which increases the opportunity to form social connections. These connections are important for peer support opportunities between people with similar lived experiences.

Pride in Mind collaborate with other organisations in their local area to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and form community power to be able to tackle inequalities. Through their collaborations they have contributed to the organisation of Northern Pride which takes place in Newcastle’s Town Moor. They have worked with organisations working with LGBT+ people and young people to improve understanding and awareness of mental health problems.

This project showcases the importance of social connections as a vital underpinning factor of healthy neighbourhoods and communities

Mish Lorraine
Funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery North East and Cumbria