Medway Council is encouraging residents to apply for funding to organise events which aim to reduce the stigma around mental health.
Medway has become a Time to Change Hub. Time to Change is a growing movement which aims to change how people think and act about mental health problems. The campaign is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and is supported by funding from the Department of Health and Social Care, Comic Relief and National Lottery funding.
The council is working in partnership with other stakeholders, including Porchlight and the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), to recruit and train local mental health champions. Champions are people who have experience of mental health problems. They go out into their local communities and initiate conversations with local people to get them talking about their mental health.
The Medway Hub has announced that members of the public are able to apply for a share of £10,000 grant funding to organise events to reduce the mental health stigma. Residents can apply for between £100 to £1,500 from the Time to Change Bright Ideas fund. Applicants must be sponsored by an organisation in Medway and be a Time to Change champion.
We all need to talk to each other about mental health
Cllr David Brake, Portfolio Holder for Adult Services and Public Health, at Medway Council, said: “I would encourage residents to get in touch and apply for funding for their events – no matter how big or small. It is incredibly important that we all talk to each other about mental health to help break down the stigma. I would also like to use this opportunity to encourage residents to sign up to become Time to Change Champions; together we can reach more people and get them talking about their mental health.”
No one should have to fear being treated differently because of a mental health problem
Porchlight's head of community and preventative services, Julia Hargreaves, said: "No one should have to fear being treated differently because of a mental health problem. Time to Change Medway is about bringing the community together to change negative attitudes towards mental health. Everyone has a role to play and we can’t wait to hear people’s ideas about ways we can work together to reduce mental health stigma."
More about mental health stigma.