Funding for local projects to improve mental health

This story was published 15 September 2020

National funding has been secured for grassroots projects in North Yorkshire which promote good mental health.

Mental health awareness graphic

NHS England has awarded £34,000 in a third year of funding for projects in the county which promote wellbeing and positive mental health. It follows a successful bid by North Yorkshire County Council and partner organisations in the Durham, Darlington, Tees, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

The aim of the funding is to support a national initiative to reduce suicide rates in England by ten per cent by 2020-21.

“Statistics show that, at some point in their lives, one in four people will experience mental health issues,” said County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing.

“In North Yorkshire, that’s around 150,000 people, or to put it another way, more than the populations of Harrogate and Scarborough combined.

“We can have good or poor mental health, just as we have varying physical health, and we can all experience changes in our mental wellbeing from time to time. This can be anxiety, stress or a more serious mental health condition.”

Any organisation is eligible to apply, however we are particularly interested to receive applications from organisation who work with and support men aged 40 and over.  Between 2015 and 2018 in North Yorkshire the highest number of suicides were among men aged 40 to 59 (40%) and this reflects the national picture.

The money is for projects which provide support to strengthen and build peoples’ resilience and makes a positive contribution to one, or more, other areas;

  • Reducing stigma and discrimination;
  • Developing mentally healthy communities and workplaces;
  • Reducing loneliness and social and emotional isolation;
  • Reducing suicides.

Herriot Hospice Homecare received some previous funding for a project to help young people cope with bereavement.

The charity provides end-of-life care and other support services to those living with terminal illness and bereavement across Hambleton and Richmondshire. Earlier this year a total of 14 young people were referred to the organisation’s project, which focused on suicide prevention by working through those feelings with young people, giving them support, information, practical tools and techniques to build emotional resilience where it was needed and, where needed, help them access specialist support.

During lockdown, Herriot Hospice transitioned from delivering face-to-face support from its dedicated young person’s bereavement centre in Northallerton, to delivering its free support online via email, text, video call and Whatsapp.

To do this, the project had to invest in the technology required, train up its staff and volunteers and produce new safeguarding policies and procedures for staff and volunteers to work within.

Another project to receive funding was run by music promoters Dual Tree, based in Richmond, who teamed up with other professionals to run a project called Alleviation, which involved a day of workshops covering topics such as mindfulness, relations, song writing for therapy and other issues. Alongside the workshops were confidential, one-to-one counselling sessions which were available to anyone, free of charge. The event was designed to create a welcoming place for people to discuss their experiences with mental health and suicide and to tackle some of the myths and stigma around mental health.

Organisations can bid for between £500 and £4,000 for funding up to the end of November 2021. The deadline for applying is midnight, November 8, 2020. To apply, email;

View the application form or further information.