Keeping an “Open Mind” towards good mental health

5th June 2018

In Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 it has been announced that a mental health charity based in West Cumbria has been granted £7,000 towards the costs of a new three year project, Open Mind. The grant was made from Cumbria Housing Partners Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation to Mind in West Cumbria, a registered charity which exists to promote good mental health and wellbeing for people in Allerdale and Copeland.  It works in collaboration with other agencies and local partners, to deliver holistic and bespoke services to support adults with experience of mental distress and learning disabilities.

“Open Mind” will support people living with mental health issues to overcome some of the barriers which stop them getting into employment. By offering training in personal social skills and basic education, alongside other therapeutic support, the holistic project aims to increase employability – enabling members to reach their potential and fulfil their aspirations.

Dr Brian Campbell, Chairman of Mind in West Cumbria says: “Many of our members are relatively young, presently unemployable but with a large part of life ahead of them. Some are in need of basic, social, literacy and numeracy skills as a result of their schooling being disrupted due to mental health issues. The grant will enable us to provide a series of weekly courses relevant to our member’s needs, from basic skills through to accessing higher and further education. This will complement other one to one work we are doing to support them.

“Mental health issues are common, one in four are likely to suffer from diagnosable mental health problems. Anyone, at any stage or age may experience poor mental health causing them to “drop out” of their lives temporarily or for a longer term. Many people with ongoing mental health issues can, and do, learn to manage their symptoms and have fulfilling lives as vital members of their communities, professionally and personally.

“Through this project and our other work we want to encourage personal development, to help them rekindle their ambitions and reach beyond the horizons which seem limited due to illness, and on to a brighter space where they can thrive as individuals.”

John Clasper, Chair of Cumbria Housing Partners, said: “Supporting projects which help local people into employment is the key aim of the Cumbria Housing Partners Fund. This project offers an opportunity for people whose aspirations have been curtailed as a result of mental health issues to overcome barriers to employment and we are proud to be able to fund it.”

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer for Cumbria Community Foundation, added: “Mental health issues can affect people from all walks of life. The Foundation supports local projects that provide a lifeline for people with nowhere else to turn, whether they are recovering from trauma, addiction or mental breakdown, or coping daily with stress, depression, anxiety or loneliness. This funding comes at a critical time, demand for funding support in this area is set to grow as statutory mental health services continue to be affected by cuts and are stretched to capacity.”

Cumbria Housing Partners is the only local procurement group for social housing landlords in Cumbria. We help our member landlords save time and money by buying materials and contractors for repair and maintenance work on their homes. By working together and using our combined buying power, we make savings for our members that can be reinvested to improve the lives and futures of people living in our communities.

Over the past year Cumbria Housing Partners Fund has provided grants to individuals, community and voluntary organisations for training and projects aimed at improving people’s employability or education. The £100,000 fund has also supported projects which provide advice and guidance, support and engage people in their local community, and improve community facilities.

For more information on the Cumbria Housing Partners Fund click here.