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Increased support for children's mental health in Surrey

3 minute read
Increased support for children's mental health in Surrey

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 16th September 2018.

Thousands of children and young people suffering from mental health issues are set to benefit from a new fund offering greater support.

The Community Foundation for Surrey has launched the Surrey Mental Health Fund which will award grants to  charitable projects dedicated to children's mental health issues.

The charity says it is in response to a growing need. Joe Crome, Director of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation for Surrey, said: "Each year we receive hundreds of grant applications from charities and groups across Surrey, but it was becoming noticeable that the number of mental health projects requiring support has been increasing.

"We made the decision to set up this Mental Health Fund, and have been working with statutory and voluntary sector partners to develop the priorities based on needs across the county."

Initially, grants will be made to early intervention projects helping children and young people aged 8-13 develop emotional resilience and self-esteem. Consideration will be given to innovative new ideas and pilot projects as well as existing work.

Joe Crome added: "The research we conducted with local partners, both in the statutory and voluntary sector, showed that there are emerging needs and gaps in provision relating to children and young people, particularly at primary school age and during the transition to secondary.

"The Mental Health Foundation reported that 1 in 10 young people has poor mental health, which equates to 14,500 individuals in Surrey.

"Furthermore, they state that '70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age'.

"As a result of this, we believe it is vital that this fund initially focuses on supporting these children in our county."

Surrey County Council and Guildford and Waverley CCG, who helped advise on the criteria for the new fund, said: "Poor mental health is affecting more and more children and young people, and we believe this fund can make a real difference to this younger age group and complement public services in the county offering mental health support."

The first round of funding is now open for applications from charities and community organisations, and groups have until October 19 to submit their full application. Areas of particular interest include (though are not limited to):

  •  Encouraging healthier use of social media amongst children and young people
  •  Self harm prevention and support
  •  Projects led by young people, including activities which raise awareness of youth mental health issues

The fund is aming to reach at least £100,000 in the first year. It is currently looking for local donors who can take advantage of a generous match funding opportunity which is available until the end of October. Any individual or business who might like to contribute can contacting Joe Crome at joe@cfsurrey.org.uk, telephone 01483 906383.


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