Supporting mental health of children and young people with our new Surrey Mental Health Fund

1st November 2018

Announcing the launch of the Surrey Mental Health Fund in response to growing mental health issues among children and young people

The Community Foundation for Surrey is proud to be launching the Surrey Mental Health Fund, which will award grants to charitable projects across the county which support the improvement in mental health and well-being of children and young people.

The Community Foundation, a philanthropic charity which awarded £1.2 million in grant funding last year to over 300 community groups, has launched the fund in response to a growing need relating to mental health.

Joe Crome, Director of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation for Surrey:

Each year we receive hundreds of grant applications from charities and groups across Surrey, but it was becoming noticeable that the number of mental health projects requiring support has been increasing. We made the decision to set up this Mental Health Fund, and have been working with statutory and voluntary sector partners to develop the priorities based on needs across the county.

Initially, grants will be made to early intervention projects helping children and young people aged 8-13 develop emotional resilience and self-esteem. Consideration will be given to innovative new ideas and pilot projects as well as existing work.

 

The research we conducted with local partners, both in the statutory and voluntary sector, showed that there are emerging needs and gaps in provision relating to children and young people, particularly at primary school age and during the transition to secondary. The Mental Health Foundation reported that 1 in 10 young people has poor mental health, which equates to 14,500 individuals in Surrey. Furthermore, they state that ‘70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age’. As a result of this, we believe it is vital that this fund initially focuses on supporting these children in our county.

 

Surrey County Council and Guildford and Waverley CCG, who helped advise on the criteria for this new fund:

We are really pleased to see the launch of the Surrey Mental Health Fund. Poor mental health is affecting more and more children and young people, and we believe this fund can make a real difference to this younger age group and complement public services in the county offering mental health support.

 

The Fund is still building and will aim to reach at least £100,000 in year one. We are currently seeking local donors who can take advantage of a generous match funding opportunity which is available until the end of November 2018 which will double donations made into the fund. Any individual or business who might like to contribute to this new fund can do so by contacting Joe Crome at the Community Foundation for Surrey, joe@cfsurrey.org.uk, 01483 906383. Click here to donate online.

Our first round of applications was invited in September, and we have received a strong number of applications which we are currently assessing, with grant award decisions being made in January 2019. We are now closed for applications but we hope to open a new round later in 2019.

Projects of particular interest include (though are not limited to);

  • Encouraging healthier use of social media amongst children and young people
  • Self harm prevention and support
  • Projects led by young people, including activities which raise awareness of youth mental health issues

Please see the Mental Health Fund page for more information and how to donate to the fund.

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