Hardly a day goes by without another shocking story about mental health reaching the headlines, in the UK at least. Together with the Heads Together campaign supported by members of the British royal family, this felt like the right time to test the water to see if there was any appetite from Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) members to convene a funders’ network on mental health.
Over 20 members signed up to a meeting in May. It heard from the charity Mind about the current mental health landscape, mental health illnesses, their impact and current treatments, and some of the issues affecting mental health funding. All who attended found the meeting useful to their work.
It was unanimously agreed that there was a need for a new network of funders to focus upon the funding of mental health and that it would be useful to:
- Understand what others fund, and to identify crossovers and gaps.
- Share research, reports and evaluations.
- Network and seek out opportunities to work together.
Convenor Kate Hodges from Zurich Community Trust says: ‘This is a topic that has more resonance now than for many years, and one for which many of us will be receiving more funding requests given the cuts in public services. I think it’s important for us to pool knowledge, expertise and maybe funds to make the greatest impact we can and I look forward to taking this network forward.’
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