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Living Well UK prioritises investment in services for under-represented groups

As the leading consortium of mental health charities, Living Well UK,  has announced how we are doing our part to meet the World Health Organisation’s goal of increasing investment in mental health. In 2020 alone, we have gained and distributed £230k to the region’s wellbeing services, from national funding agencies as well as smaller donors.


As the world marks Mental Health Day on Saturday (October 10), we have pledged to continue fighting for prioritised funding for locally underrepresented groups, offering vital help for the BAME community and young people.


In line with our commitment to providing vital mental health and wellbeing support for those living in Birmingham and Solihull, we are significantly increasing financial distribution to those from historically marginalised groups.


For instance, we have won funding for the expansion of services offered by our BAME-specialist consortium member, Pattigift Therapy, so that it can extend its work providing free psychology, counselling and family support for those of African heritage. This will run in tandem with additional training for our own team of experts, ensuring they can deliver targeted mental health programmes for BAME groups in a more effective way.


Pattigift was founded in 2003 to plug the gap experienced by those of African heritage in psychiatric services and the lack of culturally congruent approaches to addressing their issues. The funding that we have pledged will be used to boost the organisation’s latest services, encouraging those who need help to feel confident enough to reach out for it.


Alongside this, money will also go to increasing the work capacity of Our Roots, working in partnership to deliver Covid-19 situational counselling. This social enterprise directly benefits local communities in the region with health promotion and awareness.


We were awarded £30,000 to implement a piloted scheme, delivering targeted trauma treatment for those aged between 11-13, who witnessed or suffered from domestic abuse during lockdown. Other schemes include launching our first live chat function to connect people to trained therapists via instant messenger; an online platform to enable companies to support staff; and working with Sport 4 Life and Spring to Life to offer a range of innovative services.


Speaking about the work of Living Well UK Ben Howells, CEO, commented:


“It seems fitting as we mark World Mental Health Day that we focus on the work done in the city by a whole team of charities and organisations who focus on improving the mental health of many different communities. Many people feel they get lost in the system or are not sure where to get help and this will mark as a reminder that the support is there.


“This year, more than ever before, we have seen a massive increase in those suffering from mental health issues, including grief, isolation, financial fears and health worries. The Coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on this area and knowing that specifically targeted help is available can be a real life saver.”


Living Well UK provides free mental health support, promoting wellbeing from an individual and community perspective to help find practical solutions to life’s challenges. These include online stress and anxiety courses, counselling and self-help, creative therapies and CBT, all drawing on the knowledge of a consortium of expert members across the city. For more details call 0121 663 1217.

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