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South Staffordshire Network for Mental Health Awarded Big Lottery Funding

South Staffordshire Network for Mental Health logo

Wed 18 May 2016

Starting Autumn 2016, the South Staffordshire Network for Mental Health has been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to provide an emotional wellbeing and mental illness prevention service across the six districts of South Staffordshire.

1 in 4 people will experience mental illness at some point in their lives. This is regardless of job, income, gender, sexuality, age… It can happen to anyone and we all know someone who has been affected. Yet with some planning and some support, mental illness can be prevented.

The charity has been piloting this approach, called Toolbox, successfully for two years in Lichfield and Stafford. It has helped a number of people to build their own plan dealing with emotions and preventing mental illness. Now with this substantial and important funding, the charity will help more than two thousand people over the next four years.

This is what people had to say about the Toolbox pilot:

''It has let me know about things that are out there that can help me and help other people. I wasn't aware of all these places before today.''

''I've so enjoyed doing the Toolbox assessment. Learning about the support services. Knowing I can do things for myself.''

“It was very important to me to recognise when I'm becoming ill as I wasn't aware of this before the Toolbox assessment.”

Toolbox logoAn important aim of the charity and of the project is to support people to become volunteers, by way of offering assistance to gain qualifications, skills and experience. Local organisations and charities will benefit as well, having this service to refer people at risk of mental illness. Signpost Centre, Stafford, reported:

“Toolbox was introduced to us in a ‘non-pushy’ way and seemed very relevant and valuable to our clients to be able to access right away to help them with their emotional needs. It would enable them to have someone to talk to and information to learn about what help was available out there for them to maintain healthy levels of emotional well-being.”

South Staffordshire Network for Mental Health is an independent charity which has supported people with experience of mental illness to become more involved with their own health care. We represent more than a thousand charity members in discussions and ongoing partnership work with Staffordshire County Council and local NHS organisations regarding the provision of mental health services.

Bob Attwood, Chair of South Staffordshire Network for Mental Health says:

“We are a growing independent charity established in 2003 to ensure our communities become healthier and more able to take on the challenges that life can present. We thank the Big Lottery Fund for this award which will enable us to substantially expand our service to the community.”

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.Big Lottery Fund logo

Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

For more information, contact Keri Lawrence, Operations Manager. You can telephone the SSNMH office at 01543 301139 or email him at toolbox@ssnmentalhealth.co.uk.