A new Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund has been established with £15 million allocated to support mental health and well-being in communities across Scotland this year as part of a £120m investment plan. The Scottish Government has made the decision to appoint Third Sector Interfaces to allocate the fund and TSI Western Isles has been allocated funds to distribute amongst the third sector by the end of March 2022.
The Fund will provide £15 million in 2021-22 and funding will also be made available in 2022-23 (subject to parliamentary approval of the budget) to support mental health and well-being in communities across Scotland. It will be distributed by Third Sector Interfaces to small, grass roots, community groups and organisations following an application process. This recurring funding reflects the importance that we place on community support in this area and the commitments given by Scottish Ministers to increase direct mental health investment, in both the NHS Recovery Plan and this year’s Programme for Government.
Purpose of Funding:
The overarching aim of the Fund is to support community based initiatives that promote and develop good mental health and wellbeing and mitigate and protect against the impact of distress and mental ill health within the adult population. It will have a particular focus on:
- Tackling key issues within the Transition and Recovery Plan such as suicide prevention, social isolation and loneliness, with a focus on prevention and early intervention
- Addressing the mental health inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic and the needs of a range of ‘at risk’ groups: women (particularly young women); people with a long term health condition or disability; those who are or have been on the highest risk (previously shielding) list; people from a BAME background; refugees and those with no recourse to public funds; people facing socio-economic disadvantage; people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage; people with experience of trauma; people who have experienced bereavement or loss; people disadvantaged by geographical location (particularly remote and rural areas); older people; and LGBTI communities
- Supporting small grass roots community groups and organisations (i.e. voluntary or community organisations; registered charities; groups or clubs; not-for-profit companies or Community Interest Companies, and community councils) to deliver such activities, thus providing opportunities for people to connect and revitalise communities.
- Developing trusted relationships within communities and building on communities’ own efforts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and on the examples of good practice and innovation which have emerged
In the coming weeks TSI Western Isles will be working with partners to put processes in place for applications to the fund, assessment of fund applications and evaluation. Our aim is to have the fund open to applications for 1st December 2021.