Health Minister Robin Swann has announced funding of more than £250,000 for three organisations providing vital mental health support for local communities in South and West Belfast as part of the Mental Health Support Fund.
Greater Shankill Partnership has been awarded £97,762, Women too Windsor Project is receiving £93,000, and Compass Counselling CIC is receiving £61,560.
The awards have been made following an additional allocation of £6.02m to the Mental Health Support Fund which has provided grants to a range of charities and groups across Northern Ireland. Other organisations which have been successful in their applications to the Fund will be informed in the coming weeks.
Minister Swann said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit all three organisations and to hear at first hand of the important work they’re doing at the heart of their communities to help and support people of all ages with their mental health and wellbeing. The very worthwhile projects receiving this funding are delivering vital person-centred care and support at a time when help is desperately needed. I commend all of the staff and volunteers for their tireless work and the innovative programmes they have developed to expand their services.
“Today is national Time to Talk Day when people are encouraged to talk about mental health issues. We know that conversations about mental health have the power to change lives and open up channels of communication in communities so that people can support each other.”
Greater Shankill Partnership has been awarded £97,762 for its ‘Therapy Access Programme’ which provides services for those experiencing anxiety, depression and loneliness across the community.
Nicola Verner, Joint Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant for the provision of therapeutic work throughout Greater Shankill. Sitting alongside our other programmes, including family support, this resource will enable us to ensure children, young people and adults can receive a range of interventions for good health and well-being. The last two years have really taken their toll on all of us emotionally and this funding will help us to provide valuable support in a professional manner at community grassroots.”
The Women too Windsor Project, in the Village area of South Belfast, is receiving £93,000 for its ‘Reset Project’, delivering support to women and children suffering poor mental health as a result of or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Executive Eleanor Jordan said: “Windsor Women’s Centre is absolutely delighted and excited to receive this two year investment to deliver a health and wellbeing project. It will provide a range of services to local women and children, from babies to our senior citizens. This programme is designed by local women in response to the needs they have identified.”
Compass Counselling CIC is receiving £61,560 for its ‘Counselling for All Ages in Shankill’ project, providing free access to counselling for vulnerable people of all ages in the Shankill and greater West Belfast area, where they can come and address issues in a safe, confidential and supportive environment.
Director Sheree Irwin said: “We are just overwhelmed that Compass Counselling have been successful in securing financial support from the Mental Health Fund. As an agency, this will help sustain vital counselling services and maintain our commitment to supporting children, young people and adults with mental health challenges and life changing."
Minister Swann concluded: “As a society, the past two years has presented all of us with very serious challenges and there is evidence of a longer term increased mental health need associated with the pandemic. A key element of responding to this emerging mental health need has been the development of a new Mental Health Strategy which I published last June.
“The Strategy promotes emotional wellbeing and positive mental health for everyone, supports recovery and seeks to reduce stigma and mental health inequalities. We also want to break down barriers so that people are put in the centre which is exactly what these organisations are doing every day.”
Notes to editors:
- Photo captions:
Greater Shankill Partnership: (left to right) Sarahjane Waite, Jackie Redpath, Health Minister Robin Swann, and Nicola Verner.
Women too Windsor: (left to right) Eleanor Jordan, Health Minister Robin Swann and Martina Magee.
Compass Counselling: Sheree Irwin, Mandy McDermot and Health Minister Robin Swann.
- The Mental Health Support Fund is being administered and managed by the Community Foundation NI on behalf of the Department and aims to provide grant funding to organisations with charitable status that can deliver outcomes to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of the population.
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