Mental health funding boost for Mid-Ulster

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COOKSTOWN and Western Shores Area Network will share a total of £100,000 funding to help improve mental health and wellbeing among people in the area.

CWSAN is one of four community networks which has received the funding, allocated by the Public Health Agency, enabling it to award smaller community based grants in the Cookstown and Magherafelt district council areas.

Madeline Heaney, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (Northern area), PHA, said the PHA has a lead role in implementing the regional mental health promotion and suicide prevention strategies, in partnership with the community and voluntary sector and others.

“Providing each community network with funding for local activity is part of this work. It will help individuals learn how to cope with life changing events and help communities to promote positive mental health and build resilience,” she said.

She said the projects funded by the Community Based Small Grants Scheme will help empower individuals and communities to take positive action to improve their mental health.

Other groups funded include North Antrim Community Network (covering Moyle, Ballymoney, Ballymena and Larne council areas), Causeway Rural and Urban Network (covering Coleraine Council area) and South Antrim Rural Network (for Antrim, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus areas).

‘Micro’ grants are available for around eight to ten projects in each council area and applications will be assessed on the potential to enable communities to improve health and wellbeing and to complete the work, including evaluation, by mid March 2013.

The closing date for applications is Friday, September 28. Any non-statutory organisation, showing evidence of being an active group, within the Northern area, can apply for these ‘micro’ grants (of about £500). Larger grants (£1000 maximum) should target a large number of individuals and/or a large area.

For further information, guidance and examples of evidence based practice, along with support to develop a relevant programme, contact Cookstown and Western Shores Area Network on 028 8773 8845.

If you, or someone you know, is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. This is a confidential service, where trained counsellors will assist and follow-up with other support if necessary. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also access the Lifeline website at www.lifelinehelpline.info.