2am mumsMental health charity Mind has been awarded £436,000 funding by People’s Health Trust to launch 9 pilot projects that will support unemployed men and new mums to look after their mental wellbeing during challenging periods in their lives.

The groups were specifically targeted as part of the charity’s resilience programme, in which people have been identified as being at particular risk of poor mental health, such as those exposed to social isolation, discrimination and economic deprivation. 

Provide tailored support to at-risk groups
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have received these grants from the People’s Health Trust using money raised by society lotteries through The Health Lottery. It will help us to provide tailored support based on individual needs for two of the groups that we know are most likely to develop a mental health problem.

"With NHS trusts looking to make efficiency savings of £20 billion over the next 4 years, Mind knows that this will have a huge impact on the support services that those affected by mental health problems can access. That’s why funding for pilot projects like these is so valuable and will help us to ensure that we can be there for more people at the earliest possible stage."

On-going support for post-natal depression
Four Local Mind groups in Ulverston, Coventry, Peterborough and Fenland and the West Midlands will be given grants to support pregnant women and new mothers.

Research suggests that 15% of women in the UK will experience a perinatal mental illness in the first trimester of their pregnancy, and 10% of new mothers will experience post natal depression. 

The Local Mind projects will provide on-going support to mums throughout pregnancy and the first year after birth, weekly drop-in peer support groups, and weekly home visits by trained befrienders who provide practical and emotional help as well as friendship and encouragement.

Structured activities to improve wellbeing and engagement
Local Minds in York, Tower Hamlets and Newham in London, Merthyr and the Valleys in Wales, Darlington, and City and Hackney in London, will also receive a grant to provide support to unemployed men. 

A Mind study from 2009 estimated that the percentage of people with psychological problems increases from 16% among the employed to 34% among the unemployed. The projects will provide structured, practical activities, such as gardening projects or DIY handiwork projects, which support wellbeing and community engagement and help them to improve their skills.

John Hume, chief executive of People’s Health Trust, said: “Communities are experiencing some of their hardest times at the moment. We’re delighted to be able to fund initiatives like this which provide invaluable opportunities for people to gain essential support.” 

 For more information visit www.mind.org.uk/about/the_network