New fund launched to support reduction in suicide and self-harm

PROJECTS aimed at reducing suicide and self-harm across Sussex could benefit from cash boosts of up to £15,000.

The Sussex Health and Care Partnership, which includes local councils and health services, has launched a Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund and is inviting groups and organisations to apply for a share of £155,000.

The 2020/21 fund will help groups such as community and voluntary groups, charities and parish councils deliver projects that reduce harm, prevent suicides and improve mental health.

Grants of between £1,000 and £15,000 will be considered in two rounds. The first, in May, will prioritise projects that address the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and the restrictions in place during the pandemic.

Darrell Gale, director of public health at East Sussex County Council, said: “We know that, in the right hands, a little can go a long way and help save countless lives  across Sussex. This new fund will help deliver lifesaving projects that may not have been possible without financial support.”

He added: “Whilst completely necessary, the current restrictions in place to limit the spread of Covid-19 have created a huge amount of uncertainty and change, which places additional pressure on thousands of Sussex residents.

“In times like these, it is more important than ever that support networks exist for those who are finding it difficult to cope, which is why projects that address the current crisis will be prioritised in the first round of funding.”

In the second round of funding, which will be considered in September, priority will be given to projects that aim to reduce the numbers of suicides in all high-risk groups identified in the national suicide prevention strategy, including middle-aged men.

All applications will be reviewed by a panel which includes representatives from member organisations of the Sussex Health and Care Partnership and someone with experience of a suicide attempt, suicidal thoughts and feeling, or a suicide loss.

The closing date for applications for the first round of grants is Thursday, May 28. For more information about the grants and to apply contact ruth.finlay@eastsussex.gov.uk

Funding can only be given to constituted groups. Voluntary Action in East Sussex, West Sussex or Brighton & Hove can give details of how to set up a constituted group.

More information about Sussex Health and Care Partnership and its priorities can be found at www.seshealthandcare.org.uk