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Leicester awarded funding to tackle mental health stigma

Published on Monday, February 25, 2019

Leicester has been selected as one of eight areas to tackle mental health stigma locally after winning a bid to become one of 2019’s Time to Change hubs.

Time to Change Leicester will be joining 13 funded hubs across England to help change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. The hub is a partnership between Leicester City Council, Richmond Fellowship and local champions, and will combine the insights of the national Time to Change campaign with local knowledge.

It will support communities, workplaces and schools to take action to end negative attitudes and behaviour towards people experiencing mental health problems.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on public health in Leicester, said: “We took the decision bid to be a Time to Change Hub because mental health stigma remains a barrier to mental wellness, and because we are determined to play a central role in removing such barriers both locally and nationally.  

“This success, which follows a rigorous and competitive application process, now places Leicester at the vanguard of the drive to end mental health stigma.

“We’re committed to working with local champions from all backgrounds to develop initiatives that will help to ensure mental health is more talked-about, better understood and better accepted in all our communities.”

Christine Lawrence, Richmond Fellowship Midlands locality manager, said: “Richmond Fellowship is delighted to be a key partner in the Leicester Time to Change Hub.

“Many of our volunteers and recovery workers have personal experience of mental ill health. This is because a vital aspect of our approach is that we work together with the people we support as equal partners to design and plan services together.

“Work to combat stigma is central to our role in the mental health resilience and recovery service. So I am really excited by this opportunity to work with our partners and reach communities across Leicester.”

Local Time to Change champion Katie Sone said: “It’s great that Leicester has become a Time to Change hub. Through the Time to Change campaign, I have been able to deliver a series of Writing for Mental Health workshops, which are designed to help people manage their own mental health. Being able to share the therapeutic benefits of writing with others is a huge passion of mine.”

Jo Loughran, Director at Time to Change, said: “When one in four of us will fight a mental health problem in any given year and suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 40, it’s vital that we join together to end mental health stigma. Our network of Time to Change hubs are able to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in their community.”

Time to Change, the national campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, launched the first regional hubs in March 2017.  The announcement of eight further funded hubs, including Leicester, is part of the campaign’s three-year plan to establish a network of hubs across England to provide a focus for local campaigning work.

Each funded hub is provided with a £15,000 start-up budget along with £10,000 for a champions fund, where local champions can bid for funding to run stigma-busting events and activities within their area.

Since their initial launch, Time to Change hubs have successfully campaigned to end mental health stigma and discrimination. Their work has ranged from stopping a stigmatising theatre show ‘Psycho Asylum’ from touring the country to supporting Time to Talk Day (7 February 2019), running events and delivering campaigns aimed at improving understanding and respect for people living with a mental health problem.

To find out more about Time to Change Leicester visit www.leicester.gov.uk/mentalhealth.

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