Breaking Barriers: Mental Health Investment Fund (MHIF) grants more than £3m to 13 innovative schemes across Surrey
The Surrey All Age Mental Health Investment Fund (MHIF) has granted funding of £3.6m to 13 projects that provide innovative, community-focused programmes. This is in addition to the £530,000 that was granted in 2023 to 9 projects.
These initiatives aim to support the emotional well-being of our citizens by focusing on preventing poor mental health and aiding those with mental health needs. This gives people access to early, appropriate support, preventing further escalation of their needs. Additionally, the MHIF has supported projects that work with communities to tackle isolation.
Established in 2022, the MHIF is a joint fund with Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership and is part of the county’s No One left Behind agenda. The additional investment in mental health provision was ring fenced within the 22/23 Council Tax with an additional contribution from the NHS (National Health Service).
The 2019 Surrey Health and Wellbeing Strategy focusses on how to reduce health inequalities so no-one is left behind. The evidence it is based on helps us to understand and target key groups and neighbourhoods across Surrey with this funding.
The MHIF is aligned to meeting the outcomes of Priority 2 of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which focuses on prevention, removing barriers and supporting people to become proactive in improving their emotional health and wellbeing.
A broad range of partners across the NHS, County Council and Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise came together to carefully consider the bids and award the funding. We look forward to sharing stories from the variety of projects and people and communities being positively impacted over the next year.
Dr Charlotte Canniff, Joint Chief Medical Officer for Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, said:
This investment reflects the importance we place on promoting good mental health and early intervention for those facing mental health challenges.
The communities we are part of play a huge role in our mental wellbeing.
I am thrilled to see the success stories from round one projects and how they can thrive with this investment and look forward to more people getting the help they need through the second round of funding.
Mark Nuti, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Health, said:
I am delighted that the second round of funding has been allocated to a range of different organisations and is spread across the 11 districts and boroughs of Surrey, all working to tackle mental ill-health with innovative, community-focused projects.
I eagerly anticipate the positive impact the second round of funding will have on people in Surrey need of mental well-being support.
- Step Forward project - creating a team of Inclusive Wellbeing Coaches to help people aged 18+ with complex needs and multiple diagnoses, including mental health and autism.
- Paediatric Parenting Service – supporting parents/carers of children under 6 years old who have a diagnosis of autism and/or ADHD.
- School holiday respite project for children aged 5-11 from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds to access early help.
- Increasing GP capacity and reduce the long-term demand for mental health services by embedding a Citizen Advice advisor in GP surgeries in Walton-on-Thames.
- A holistic early intervention visual arts & wellbeing programme supporting children & their families in Guildford, Spelthorne & Runnymede neighbourhoods with poor health outcomes.
- Supports people aged 10-25 who are in A&E because of self-harm, a suicide attempt or emotional crisis, 7pm - 11pm when many other services are closed, and hospital staff are very busy. Operating at Royal Surrey, East Surrey and Epsom hospitals.
- Expanding support in Surrey schools through disseminating the 'Surrey Young Suicide Prevention Toolkit' for staff training, facilitating the creation of suicide-safer policies in each school, providing CPD-accredited suicide prevention training and a 30-minute SPARK (Suicide Prevention Awareness, Resource, Knowledge) presentation for parents, and promoting the 'Helplines Standard'- accredited HOPELINE247 for 24/7 confidential support, including debriefing for professionals.
- Working within communities to end social isolation and loneliness in older people.
- Offering early intervention outreach for parents of young families, focusing on maintaining positive mental health and well-being by enhancing support and social networks.
- Support and train 100 mainstream Surrey schools to deliver a graduated approach to nurture, working with nurture UK - a leading and highly successful charity.
- Provide 14 weekly sport and physical activity sessions in key locations in Surrey to support people experiencing mental health problems.
- Sustainably improving the mental health of the unemployed, combining 1:1 support from trained staff with long-term volunteer mentoring & nature-therapy: a holistic combination that significantly improves existing fragmented support.
- Step Forward is addressing a gap in service provision for young adults with poor mental health, especially “at risk” groups and those transitioning from child to adult services, who are often left without support at a time when they need it most.