There are some great charities out there doing a lot to combat the stigma surrounding mental health and providing fantastic support to people who are going through a rough patch and who are needing some help. These organisations are largely volunteer led, and ordinary people just like you and I give up their spare time to provide a service that – going by the statistics on mental health and suicides in the UK – is extremely important in helping save lives.
One of the local charities who do just that is Mindspace. They’ve received over 800 referrals for adult counselling over the past twelve months which just shows that the demand is huge.
We all have mental health just as we have physical health but it seems that the same emphasis and education isn’t put on keeping our minds healthy as is keeping physically fit through exercise. Mindspace run a number of different projects aimed at combating stigma, treating depression and ultimately reducing the worrying statistics around suicides. And their hard work isn’t going unnoticed – the Perthshire mental health charity has no less than four projects shortlisted for Aviva Community Funding, which could see them net much needed funds ranging from £1,000 to £25,000. To have four very different projects in the running, all focusing on equally important aspects of the work we do in the community is mind-blowing!
The four projects in contention for funding are; The Final Taboo, Tackling Trauma, Work Together and Recovery College, with two of the projects put forward by local company GS Insurance and all four having different aims and objectives when it comes to helping the people of Perth.
Tracey Reilly, who works on fundraising and marketing for Mindspace, is hoping that those living within the local community will get behind the charity by casting votes for their projects which could see the mental health organisation secure vital cash to continue their important work throughout Perthshire.
“To have one project accepted and in the running for the 2017 Aviva Community Fund is wonderful for Mindspace Perth, but to have four very different projects all focusing on equally important aspects of the work we do in the community is mind-blowing!
“We support and promote hope, confidence, life-skills and connections so as to enrich lives within our community, and we hope that now locals will get behind us and vote for Mindspace so we can continue to design courses and offer the much needed mental health support to the people of Perth and Kinross.
“Each person has up to 10 votes and can vote for just one project or as many as they like with their votes. You don’t need to be an employee of Aviva to vote and they money will help us to keep supporting those who really need our help!”
The projects in the running for funding from Aviva are focused based on the four different categories of the Aviva Community Fund which are health and wellbeing, skills for life, inclusivity and community support.
The Final Taboo is a project aimed at tackling the issue of suicide. There’s between £10,000 and £25,000 worth of funding available for this project which will help Mindspace to continuing trying to tackle suicide, which has been described as one of the last taboos in mental health. Despite suicide being the leading cause of death in males aged between 20 and 49 (ahead of cancer, heart disease and road accidents) the money spent trying to treat the problem is only a fraction of what is spent or donated to those other leading causes of death.
Mindspace are hoping to secure the money to help launch The Final Taboo Project which will focus on providing counselling and support to people who may otherwise be suffering in silence. They also want to help the families who have lost loved ones to suicide who may still be asking the ‘Why’s’ and the ‘How’s’ and are unable to move on with their own lives. The money spent trying to treat the problem of suicide and depression is only a fraction of what is spent on other leading causes of death.
Tackling Trauma aims to provide support to adults in Perthshire regardless of their financial position, so that they can overcome life limiting barriers which have been caused by emotional, psychological or physical abuse. It’s hoped that it may help those who are hesitant to seek support from traditional providers – such as Women's Aid or The Samaritans – due to embarrassment, shame or denial.
The Working Together project will provide peer support to people who are suffering from mental health problems, in the shape of someone who has been through something similar and come out the other side. The final project in the running for funding is the Mindspace Recovery College.
MRC was set up three years ago and remains the only independent recovery college in Scotland. It provides a community-based approach to the care and treatment of mental ill health. The fact that it’s the only independent recovery college in the country speaks volumes about the commitment, drive and motivation of the qualified MRC staff; whose aim is to help provide support to anyone who feels vulnerable in our community in a secure and professional environment.
We wish Mindspace the very best of luck in the Aviva Community Fund and a huge thank you and well done to all of those who work so hard within the organisation to help people in our community who are struggling with their mental health. Please remember that it’s okay to talk, and there are a number of different organisations – such as Andy’s Man Club which you can read more about here – there to listen and support you.
To vote for Mindspace for the Aviva Community Fund, visit the link here. You don’t need to be an Aviva member of staff, you just need to register your email address and you could also win an iPad, £250 in M&S vouchers and VIP rugby experiences for taking part and voting.
Mindspace Perth recently won ‘Self-Management Project of the Year’ at the recent Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland awards, a fantastic achievement for a small local charity. You can find out more about Mindspace by visiting their website.
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