A RALLYING call has gone out for Worcester residents to bid for a share of a £10,000 Champions Fund and help those with personal experience challenge mental health stigma where they live.
Time to Change Worcestershire has launched the cash pot in a bid to spark conversations between people who have experienced mental health problems and those who may have not.
Each applicant must be a registered Time to Change Champion and can apply for up to £500.
Talking about mental health problems and sharing real life stories helps to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.
Activities can range from stalls in shopping centres or festivals to free haircuts by bantering barbers to walk and talk dog walks.
Dr Frances Howie. Director of Public Health said: “This is a great opportunity for residents who have experienced mental health problems to share their story and encourage people to talk more openly about mental health.
“When we talk to each other and establish common ground, prejudices and assumptions are often challenged and replaced with mutual understanding and respect. This can lead to changes in attitudes and behaviours and our campaign is proving that it is an incredibly effective way to reduce stigma and discrimination.”
The funding is made available through Time to Change, a social movement run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.
Time to Change Worcestershire was successful in its bid to become a Time to Change hub in March 2018 and is made up of Worcestershire Health and Wellbeing Board, Worcestershire County Council, Community First, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the University of Worcester, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, West Mercia Police, Redditch and Bromsgrove District Councils, Unison, and local champions.
To apply for funding applicants need to be registered Time to Change champions, be at least 18 years old, have lived experience of a mental health problem and live in Worcestershire.
The deadline to apply is Monday, August 13 and the applications will be assessed the following week with successful applicants informed by Monday, August 27.
Visit www.comfirst.org.uk/worcestershire_time_to_change1 for more information.