UK launches £5m grant to support suicide prevention charities Representational image (iStock)
UK has launched a £5 million grant to help suicide prevention charities supporting high risk groups, including children and young people and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, a statement said.
During the pandemic, the voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector saw an increase in the number of individuals seeking support – with some services seeing up to 20 per cent more contacts over the last year, compared to previous years.
The grant will open next week for applications from VCSE organisations that support suicide prevention.
According to the statement, the £4m funding will provide organisations with additional resource that will enable them to either set up new projects or expand or sustain current services to ensure people are supported.
Besides, £1m funding has been set aside to support existing and ongoing voluntary sector suicide prevention programmes.
“The entire suicide prevention voluntary sector has played a crucial role in providing people with the help and support they need throughout the pandemic and I encourage them to apply for this funding so we can continue to support our communities,” said Gillian Keegan, minister for mental health.
This fund is on top of £10.2m already given to mental health charities during the pandemic. The mental health recovery action plan, backed by £500m, has ensured the right support is being offered to people with a variety of mental health conditions who have been impacted most by the pandemic.
As part of the initiative, £200,000 of the grant funding will be provided to small community groups and organisations which play a vital role in responding to local needs.
Actions taken during the pandemic to reduce suicides by the government include acceleration of rolling out 24/7 all-age crisis services and the NHSE embedding a comprehensive package of emotional, psychological, and practical support for NHS staff, available online, including a specific helpline and text service for counselling and support.
Prof Louis Appleby, advisor to the government on the national suicide prevention strategy, said: “The response of suicide prevention charities to the pandemic has been nothing short of outstanding. They were among the first to respond to the distress that many have felt. They have worked tirelessly to support people who are anxious, isolated or at risk. They have been an invaluable partner to the NHS.
“All this has stretched their resources to the limit, at a time when fund-raising from the public has been harder. This grant funding opportunity is in recognition of the contribution they have made.”
To get support, visit-www.nhs.uk/mental-health