Today (2 July 2018) Time to Change Bristol is launching its Champions Fund – a £10,000 pot of money to help residents with personal experience challenge mental health stigma where they live.
Each applicant must be a registered Time to Change Champion and can apply for up to £500. The funding will be used to spark conversations between people who have experienced mental health problems and those who have not. 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 and even ‘walk and talk’ dog walks.
A spokesperson for the Time to Change Bristol Hub 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.”
Cllr Asher Craig, Cabinet Member for Communities, Equality and Public Health said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how our local champions would like to spend this money and their ideas to get more people opening up about their mental health. Since becoming a Time to Change hub we’ve offered training for people to become champions and this new funding pot will help to really bring the campaign alive. Only by working together will we bring about change that lasts, break down stigma and put our mental health at the top of the priority list.”
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 Bristol was successful in its bid to become a Time to Change hub in March 2018. Time to Change Bristol is made up of the city council, Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN), Rethink Bristol and Wellbeans Initiative CIC and with support from partners across the city – including employers, unions, universities, police and the NHS.
Time to Change hubs are local partnerships which demonstrate their commitment to:
- Putting people with personal experience of mental health problems at the heart of their work
- Embedding anti-stigma and discrimination work locally, whether that be local schools, workplaces or other community settings
Proactively campaigning to improve people’s attitudes and behaviours towards mental health.
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 Bristol.
The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is 24th August. Applications will be assessed by 7th September and successful applicants will be notified by 14th September.
To register as a Time to Change champion visit www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved
To apply for the Champions Fund visit www.bimhn.org.uk/ttcbristol/