HEART of England Community Foundation, the grant-giving charity in the West Midlands, has awarded over £290,000 to community organisations providing mental health support to young people in the last 18 months alone. In light of the children’s mental health crisis, which has seen cases double compared to pre-pandemic levels, the Foundation is collaborating with local charities to increase provision and cut waiting lists.
The number of young people seeking help for mental health has hit an all-time high across the country, with nearly 200,000 referrals having been made in the last three months. Despite the soaring case numbers, the knock-on effect of COVID has seen funding for the mental health sector stagnate, leaving services over-capacity and under-resourced.
Ensuring that charities and organisations in the local area have the funding they need to carry out these vital services, Heart of England Community Foundation has awarded £296,549 in the last 18 months to several mental health charities tackling the issue in the region. Including grants awarded to Aspire4U CIC, Young Minds Matter, Ordinary Magic CIC and Tappy Twins CIC, the Foundation is supporting these organisations to continue offering mental health and wellbeing support to children and families within the West Midlands.
Sue Roberts, Founder of Young Minds Matter, commented:
“The pandemic has had a devastating effect on so many young people, and we’re seeing more and more of them reach out for help. Without funding from organisations like Heart of England, the demand is too great for our mentoring services to cope with, meaning young people are left with no one to turn to in their time of need.
“It goes without saying that this period of time has been tremendously tough on mental wellbeing, so it has never been important that we promote mental health awareness across the region, and that organisations like ours can continue to offer accessible and local safe spaces for those who need it most.”
The grants distributed by the Foundation has already ensured that 13,487 children and young people across Birmingham, Coventry, the Black Country and Warwickshire have been able to access wellbeing services combatting mental health issues in the past 18 months.
Tina Costello, Chief Executive at Heart of England Community Foundation, commented:
“There are so many barriers when it comes to young people accessing mental health and wellbeing support – from financial restraints and geographical obstacles to the stigma attached to seeking help – so the work that these charities are doing to tackle the mental health crisis is truly inspiring. Organisations like Young Minds Matter are providing one-to-one assistance for young people who need it, supporting them to understand how they feel and offering them the help they need to live happier lives in the long term.
“It’s truly our pleasure to have and continue to support Young Minds Matter and its fellow causes during this time: they’ve all faced huge struggles during the pandemic, but this pinch-point is getting even more pressing as we find ourselves in a mental health crisis. At times like these, funding has never been so vital, so it’s crucial that we all play our part in protecting these services to ensure they can continue to do their life-changing work.”
For more information about Heart of England Community Foundation, please visit: www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk.