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World Mental Health Day - 10th October 2019

Kent Community Foundation recognises that caring for people with mental health issues is one of the greatest challenges facing our society.

Statistics show that; 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues, rates of self-harm in the UK are the highest in Europe and adults with mental health problems are one of the most socially excluded groups in society. The charities supporting mental health isuues in Kent and Medway are providing vital resources and on World Mental Health Day, Kent Community Foundation is delighted to highlight some of the projects it has supported with grants.

The Umbrella Centre of Herne Bay received a grant of £4,800 for their work with young people to help improve their mental health and well-being levels. The Umbrella Centre work in partnership with other local voluntary sector organisations to engage with schools in Herne Bay and Canterbury and offer psycho education training programmes for students that are struggling with mental health problems or low emotional well-being. By providing coping tools they aim to empower young people to maintain positive mental health levels and build the confidence and esteem so that they function effectively not only as young people but also as they transition into adulthood.

Abbey Physic Community Garden in Faversham received a grant of £3,500 to support their work to provide companionship, therapeutic activities, training and skill building for people with mental health issues, those who are socially isolated and everyone in the wider community.

The Abbey Physic Community Garden offers a peaceful refuge from a life outside which may be chaotic or troubled, allowing visitors to benefit from making social connections, gaining self-confidence and physical and emotional well-being, and the simple knowledge that people care for them.

Fusion Maidstone a healthy living centre, based in the Park Wood area, received a grant of £3,900 to provide a weekly support group for elderly residents and their carers. The weekly group provides a drop-in session facilitated by Maidstone MidKent Mind trained mental health well-being workers to support participants and their carers for specific mental health support. The well-being workers signpost and plan individual recovery action allowing individuals to take a holistic look at their life and identify areas where they can improve their own well-being.

The Blackthorn Trust situated near Maidstone, is a supportive therapeutic environment in which people with mental health problems can recover, grow and develop. The Trust received a grant of £7,500 towards the salary costs of a Tutor Gardener who works to help people regain social skills, develop confidence and learn new skills using horticulture and gardening.

Mental Health Resource based in Tunbridge Wells organises fortnightly free "Reachout Youth" groups for young people with an emotional and mental well-being need. The grant of £5,000 from Kent Community Foundation allowed Mental Health Resource to continue providing these groups supporting 70 young people with access to confidential, self-help support in a caring, non-judgmental environment. for a further year. The impressive feedback from these groups show 80% of participants grow in confidence, 90% feel less lonely and 80% improve their mental and emotional well-being.

Gap - A Thanet Community Project received a grant of £5,000 to support a Wellbeing Café for 11-16-year olds who are struggling with mental health issues, anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, self-esteem and low mood. The Wellbeing Café aims to provide young people with the resilience and tools to better manage their mental health by hosting calm group activities including crafts and board games and using discussion topics about anxiety, depression and positive relationships to promote conversation.

If you would like to apply for funding for a mental health project visit our funding page.

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind