22 charities will be meeting today (Tuesday 21 June 2016) to receive grant funding totalling over 278,000 from the Suffolk Community Foundation. The charities will also sign up to an innovative new research project being run by the University to ascertain the impact of their work in the county.
The funding programme has been delivered by the Suffolk Community Foundation on behalf of the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and Suffolk County Council, to support the emotional health and wellbeingof young people and their families in Suffolk. It follows the award of 6 million by NHS England to transform young peoples emotional wellbeing services in east and west Suffolk.
One in ten children need support or treatment for mental health problems that may range from short spells of depression or anxiety to severe and persistent conditions. This affects their physical health, their education and work prospects. Mental health issues in young people also places extraordinary pressure on families and carers and beating stigma, fighting through the health system and getting help can be hard.
Stephen Singleton, Chief Executive at the Suffolk Community Foundation said "We know what a huge issue this can be for young people and families across Suffolk. These grants will increase the help that is available at a time when many young people find it hard to get the support they need. Young people experience emotional distress in so many ways and in so many places across Suffolk and one size of solution will never fit all. This grants programme will fund 22 voluntary and community groups from across Suffolk to deliver supportin a range of ways and places that work for young people and their families. We are delighted to be working alongside the University, who will be giving young people and their families the chance to tell us how much difference the help has made, what works well and what could work better and thats going to be vital for the future."
Dr Rosalind Tandy, a GP in Bury St Edmunds and mental health lead for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said "Working together is the key to transforming emotional wellbeing services for our countys young people. Its certainly impressive that there are so many community and voluntary organisations ready to support this change. These 22 organisations will have an important role in delivering the help and support many of our young people need so they can live happy and fulfilling lives."
The community grants form part of a £6 million plan which, over the next five years, aims to make real improvements to emotional wellbeing services. These improvements will include the development of a new single point of access and assessment for emotional health, wellbeing and behaviour referrals so that help can be provided more quickly and by the most appropriate service, a shift in focus so that support is given to the whole family rather than only the child or young person, and a much greater use of technology and digital-based therapies.
Dr Emma Bond, Associate Professor at UCS said: We are delighted to be working with Suffolk Community Foundation on this project. Evidence of the great work these charities are doing is greatly needed and this evaluation will provide valuable information about what is being done to support children and young people and Suffolk and what is most effective in meeting their mental health and emotional wellbeing needs.
Richard Lister, Provost and Chief Executive of UCS, added UCS has, at the heart of its mission, a responsibility to be a model for a new type of university embedded, influential and focused on the communities it serves. This initiative is a great example of the work Emma and her research team at UCS are doing to work collaboratively with organisations locally and create partnerships that can make a real difference.
For the full list of charities and organisations and their reaction to the grant funding please click here