SCOTS experiencing mental health problems have had a funding boost to protect their human rights.
See Me, a national programme to end mental health discrimination, has made over £200,000 available to projects which change attitudes towards mental health.
The programme is looking for projects which can tackle stigma in workplaces, in health and social care, with children and young people, in minority groups and in the general public.
This year’s Community Innovation Fund is the largest amount to ever be made available to fund these types of projects in Scotland.
In previous years See Me has funded projects focusing on the way mental health is viewed in the justice system, discrimination towards students and passengers on buses, and creating public art and drama exhibitions.
The Hope Café in Lanark received funding from See Me last year for their Bun and Blether project.
The project takes workshops into organisations where they open up conversations on mental health over their ‘depressed cakes’.
Lisa Cameron, from Hope Café said: “The funding from See Me has created two paid positions for our project. These positions have enabled us to create, continue to develop and deliver the workshops across Lanarkshire.
“We are encouraging organisations that it’s not enough to just ‘talk’ about mental health.
“We stress that it is vital that they make changes to the language they use and the behaviours they display towards their colleagues experiencing challenges to their mental health.”
The funding is divided into two separate streams. Up to £4000 is available for six month projects which engage local communities and help stop discriminatory behaviour.
There is also up to £20,000 available to groups for projects which can tackle mental health discrimination over the course of a year. These can be based in one geographical area, but making a wider change, or they can be Scotland wide projects which can tackle stigma in areas such as workplaces, or in health and social care.
For the first time this year See Me also has £2000 available to help people to create networks and start the process of developing and delivering projects.
Judith Robertson, See Me programme director, said: “We are creating a movement of people, groups and organisations all over Scotland who care about injustice and equal rights in society.
“The Community Innovation Fund is vital in bringing so many amazing ideas to life and allows us to support real changes in communities.
“However this funding will not just allow people to make changes in their area, but through our networks will allow people to share ideas, so they can inspire each other to make real changes all over the country.
“What is great about these projects is that they are led by people with lived experience of mental health problems, who are at the front of the drive for change.”