This month Mental Health Awareness Week (14 to 20 May) is focussing on stress as an underlying cause of problems with mental health. Many of the community projects which successfully seek Big Lottery Fund grants offer opportunities to address stress directly and indirectly. The Mental Health Foundation emphasises the importance of talking to others, gaining a sense of control over our lives and being active all promote positive mental health. This month 39 communities across Wales received grants totalling £305,206. The grants are made possible by people playing the National Lottery the full list is available here. Here are a few of the projects which are using grants to help their communities manage stress:
Bridgend Carers Centre will use £5,000 to offer young carers the chance to improve their situation by providing training and learning opportunities in skill areas such as communication, managing stress and anxiety and CV writing. They will also take the young carers out to provide them with experiences that they would not otherwise get.
Family Action in Cardiff will spend £9,967 employ a new member of staff to recruit and train volunteers across Wales. These volunteers will, in turn, support parents with mental health problems or those at risk of developing them.
West Wales Motorcycle Project in Carmarthen’s grant of £9,720 will start an organisation to provide people living with mental health issues with opportunities to learn and socialise around motorcycles.
Aberconwy Mind in Conwy will use £9,960 deliver a new programme of four modules of six-week long accredited training sessions designed for those wanting to explore and understand their anger, as well as discovering some tools to manage these feelings on a day-to-day basis.
Trehafod Shotokan Karate Club in Rhondda Cynon Taff are spending £2,160 on equipment and training to help teach self-discipline, calmness and a more positive attitude towards life, which in turn will help minimise anti-social behaviour in the community.
Gareth Williams, Funding Manager for National Lottery Awards for All, said
“Mental Health has really come up the public agenda in recent months. We know from the number of projects we get which relate to improving mental health how important it is to people across Wales. We receive many projects aimed at avoiding isolation and offering people opportunities to get out and about and get fit for example, all of which are so important in avoiding stress. Hopefully Mental Health Awareness Week this month will offer another opportunity to help publicise these issues and give people the chance to talk about what is important to them.”