Projects underway to support good mental health

Local organisations are celebrating winning grants for projects designed to promote good mental health and reduce the numbers of people taking their own lives.

one of the Whitby area shedders

The money for the projects is the result of a successful bid by North Yorkshire County Council and partner organisations in the Durham, Darlington, Tees, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for funding from NHS England.

The bidding process was open to organisations based in the Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group area. The funding will be used to build on the work already underway in North Yorkshire – through the locality Suicide Action Plans – to improve the access to, and quality of, mental health services in general to help to prevent suicides. They will also support a national initiative to reduce suicide rates in England by 10 per cent by 2020-21.

Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s Corporate Director for Health and Adult Services, said: “We know that one in four people will experience mental health issues at some point in their lives. In North Yorkshire, that’s around 150,000 people, or to put it another way, more than the populations of Harrogate and Scarborough combined.

“And suicide is the main cause of death amongst men under 50, and a significant number of women, too. From recent work we have done with people across the county, we know that over half of us will, at some point, have suicidal thoughts, even if we would never go ahead and take our own lives.

“So the work that is funded by these grants really makes a difference. It could, literally, save lives.

“The quality of the bids we received was extremely high and reflects how much great work is going on locally to support good mental health.

“The new grant funding programme will play an important part in the work that supports the aims and objectives of the North Yorkshire mental health strategy – called Hope, Control and Choice – and the mental health Crisis Care Concordat work that the County Council is part of with the NHS, voluntary sector, Police and people who use services.”

Organisations were able to bid for between £500 and £5,000 of funding for projects that focus on the development of a range of targeted support that strengthens and builds resilience and makes a positive contribution to one, or more, of the following:

  • reducing stigma and discrimination;
  • developing mentally healthy communities and workplaces;
  • reducing loneliness and social and emotional isolation; and
  • reducing suicides.

Projects receiving grant funding

Darlington Mind £5,000 - this project aims to improve the mental wellbeing of those at risk of suicide through building their ‘emotional resilience’ skills and working with individuals to bounce back from adversity.

Scarborough Survivors £5,000 - Scarborough Survivors have put together a project that will involve weekly well-being activities, and ‘life-skill’ workshops looking at confidence building, self-esteem, and positive mental attitude. Four Mental Health First Aid sessions will also be provided to members of the local community.

Kaleidoscope Plus Group £4,160 - funding will be used to deliver two Mental Health First Aid training courses to those working within and around the farming and agricultural sector in Hambleton and Richmondshire.

Northallerton Business Network £3,365 - this project will deliver interactive sessions on mental health and wellbeing for local businesses which provide relevant services, which can be delivered to groups of staff. Sessions will be followed up by two half-day workshops on managing stress and a workshop on ‘using technology mindfully’.

Dual Tree £5,000 - Dual Tree will run music events around key mental health awareness dates across the region, with a qualified counsellor available for confidential ‘drop-in’ sessions during the daytime for any member of public.

Scarborough Whitby Richmondshire Mind £4,962 - funding will allow Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Mind (SWR Mind) to pilot a mental health surgery with Whitby Group Practice. Individuals will be able to book 40-minute appointments with a Community Support Worker in the surgery every other week for five hours. There will also be eight workshops on developing skills, knowledge and changing behaviours to groups.

Herriot Hospice Homecare £804 - funding will cover the costs of a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course for up to eight bereavement support volunteers. This training will ensure volunteers are able to identify anyone with feelings of suicide, and understand the actions required and recognise the important aspects of suicide prevention.

The Clock £5,000 - funding will be used to run a ‘Men’s Sheds’ project as part of the Community Re-use Store and Workshop. Participants will be encouraged to share their DIY skills with each other to upcycle the donated furniture, which will be sold in the shop. The Clock will also act as an ‘anchor’ for other local organisations to promote their well-being activities and for members of the community to find out about well-being activities.

Whitby Area Sheds £4,450 - this project will see the addition of BayThorpe Shed, a Shed to serve Robin Hoods Bay and Flyingthorpe – similar to the other five Sheds across the Whitby coast. Activities on offer are stimulating and varied, providing creative distraction from the everyday.

Stokesley School £5,000 - this project will raise awareness of mental health and break down negative stigmas and discrimination associated with it by creating a positive, open and honest environment: The Zen Garden.

With targeted groups of students, Stokesley School will create a relaxing ‘Zen’ garden filled with opportunities for students to:

  • Take notice whilst on the friendship bench; calm down and relax whilst enjoying fresh air and the scenery of Roseberry Topping
  • Keep learning through lunch time sessions of mindfulness
  • Give to others through the anonymous compliment tree.

This garden will be situated in the centre of the school and therefore become a focal point.

This story was published 4 April 2019