Mental health funding in spotlight

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CEO of Chasing the Stigma, Jake Mills, shares his mental health journey. Pic © Jose Ruiz JMU Journalism

Tackling the issues surrounding mental health funding for youths was given top priority at a gathering this week.

The Liverpool One Foundation, in conjunction with the Community Foundation for Merseyside, held the event to discuss the impact that its grants have had on community groups addressing mental health needs for children and young people.

Thursday’s event targeted healthcare professionals, groups and businesses, that are eager to learn how their support can have the best possible impact.

CEO of Chasing the Stigma, Jake Mills, was part of an expert panel, as he spoke about The Hub of Hope – an app created by the charity.

It has helped more than 80,000 users access mental health support across the country, with more than 1,200 support groups and charities registered to help people via the app.

Alongside Jake was Sam Avery, the artistic director of the Comedy Trust charity. Its aim is to make happier, healthier people through a variety of different humour, comedy and laughter-based projects, such as the Feeling Funny Youth Club.

The project is one of those funded by the L1 foundation.

YouTube: Jose Ruiz

Making people aware of the charities out there to help youngsters was one of the topics under discussion.

When Mr Avery was asked what he thought needed to be done to promote organisations, he told JMU Journalism: “I think the gaps come from marketing. We do our own and depend on social media, which someone needs to be looking after creating vigorous campaigns for people to engage with.

“Events like these are really useful for us to come speak to other organisations working on the front line which are able to then guide young people to our charity.”

Also at the event was Andrew Myers, a trustee for the Liverpool One Community Foundation.

He told JMU Journalism: “The statistics available suggest that this is one of the biggest issues facing our communities.

“To make a real impact, we need the government and statutory agencies to come on board with more funding, and support to take this further, because the Liverpool One Foundation can only take it to the first level without their help.”

Throughout the morning, the panel went over a specially-commissioned report produced by the Directory of Social Change.

The new round of grants will be available to charities in November and the closing dates for applications is January 10th, 2020.

Twitter: Jose Ruiz

About Jose Ruiz, JMU Journalism