The Maudsley Charity has announced which projects will receive grants from a quarter of a million pounds worth of funding for community mental health work across south London.
The funding scheme, called ‘community and connection’ aims to make a positive impact on people experiencing or recovering from severe mental illness and support those who also face challenges from severe financial hardship.
The charity’s chief executive Rebecca Gray said: “We are committed to supporting those people in most need and backing better mental health for all.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the high levels of inequality and mental illness that exist in south London.
“These grants will help those that face multiple disadvantage and we are proud to be supporting work that will make a genuine difference to people’s lives at such a difficult time.”
Projects to receive grants include workshops for parents and carers of young people with mental health difficulties in Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham and Croydon.
The trial project aims to help them navigate stress, burnout and relationship challenges of caring for people with added needs.
Arts Network, which uses creative activities to support patients, will also receive support for its work in Southwark and Lambeth and will help 200 people increase their self-confidence, develop new skills and relationships.
The charity will also fund a project focusing on cannabis and mental health. It will support young adults in Southwark and Lambeth who use cannabis and are suffering their first episode of psychosis.
Regular peer sessions will involve hearing from others who have experienced psychosis through cannabis consumption, and help support users to reduce or stop altogether.
Evidence shows that in doing so, patients not only improve their mental health but also improve their social functioning and are more able to return to education or employment.
Funding is also being channelled into the Samaritans in the Community in Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich.
After having to suspend its work during the height of the pandemic, this outreach work will once again continue, including working with homeless people and working with each borough’s suicide prevention groups.
Peckham-based not-for-profit Sporting Recovery Widening Participation, which focuses on sport for people recovering from serious mental illnesses and runs a wellness café, is also benefitting from funding. Its work aims to raise self-esteem and reduce loneliness.
Other organisations and groups to receive funding include Lambeth IT skills programme Digi-Inclusion and Lewisham’s Sydenham Garden, Croydon’s Women’s Hub, and several projects at Bethlem Royal Hospital.