Announcing the launch of the LGBTQ+ Wellbeing Fund

Content note; this piece contains discussions of LGBTQ+ and mental health issues.

The Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire LGBTQ+ Mental Health Lived Experience Steering Group is excited to launch a micro-grants fund for projects that will raise awareness or shine a light on mental wellbeing in the LGBTQ+ community. The fund is being launched with support from the LGBTQ+ Voice & Influence Partnership.

Funded projects will result in people being more informed and aware of what good mental wellbeing or mental health looks like for people who identify as LGBTQ+.

There are four one-off funding grants of up to £250 available. This is a total funding pot of £1000 available.

Ideally, projects will engage a range of people, including;

  • trans people
  • older people who identify as LGBTQ+
  • those who identify as non-binary
  • members of BAME communities who identify as LGBTQ+

 

Sam, on behalf of the LGBTQ+ Mental Health Steering Group, said:

“We are excited this launch this fund as one of the first projects of the LGBTQ+ Mental Health Lived Experience Steering Group. The fund will support people and groups with ideas of how to raise awareness of mental wellbeing in our community, and we can’t wait to help bring those ideas to life.”

 

Henry Poultney, Team Manager of LGBTQ+ Youth Work and Development at Off the Record (Bristol), said:

“Members of the LGBTQ+ Voice & Influence Partnership are joining forces with the LGBTQ+ Mental Health Lived Experience Steering Group to deliver funding to individuals and organisations in our local area. We believe that this funding programme will help raise awareness of what positive mental health and wellbeing looks like in the LGBTQ+ community; providing opportunities for new and existing groups to lead the way in making change and creating safe spaces.”

 

Tom Renhard, CEO of the Independent Mental Health Network, said:

“We know that in the right hands, a little can go a long way – this fund will help bring projects to life. Our network is dedicated to challenging mental health stigma, and this is a great opportunity for people who need support to get their project going.”

 

Anyone from either the Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire area who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community can apply for a grant. Organisations can also apply. Organisations do not need to be legally constituted but do require a governing document.

Click here to download an application form. The form will download to your computer in a Microsoft Word document format. If you need an alternative format, or a paper copy of the form, please get in touch.

Any questions about the fund, the Steering Group, or the application form, should be directed to . Applications for this round of funding must be submitted by Monday 26 October 2020 at 09:00.

 

– ENDS –


Notes to editors

Press contact/enquiries: press[@]imhn.org (take care to remove the square brackets from this email address)

What is the LGBTQ+ Mental Health Lived Experience Steering Group?

This group is a working group in which members can discuss issues, challenges and opportunities particular to the mental wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people. But we don’t just want to talk about these things; we want to help change and develop them. As a team, we’ll be creating and working on projects with the aim to drive positive change for our community within the services.

Why is the group operating in the Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire areas?

The health systems of these areas have becoming increasingly unified over recent years. Many mental health services are provided across these three areas collectively. Therefore, the Steering Group works to influence services and support across this combined locality.

What is the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)?

IMHN supports and facilitates the running of the Steering Group, and is supporting the administration of this grant fund. IMHN are a member-led organisation that work for and in the interests of people with lived experience of mental health. The network supports work improving local mental health services, contribute and campaign on mental health matters happening both locally and nationally, and actively challenge mental health stigma by working with partner organisations.

What is OTR Bristol?

OTR Bristol is an organisation that provides support to young people aged between 11 and 25 in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas. They support the wellbeing of young people who identify as belonging to the LGBTQ+ community via their Freedom project, and are a partner of the local Voice & Influence Partnership.Members of the OTR Bristol team support the running of the Steering Group.

Where can I get further information?

Further reading can be found below.

October 9, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Logo for the Independent Mental Health Network LGBTQ+ Lived Experience Steering Group


Click here to be taken to the webpage for the LGBTQ+ Wellbeing Fund


The Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) is a membership-led organisation that represents a diverse community of past, current and future users of mental health services, as well as those with lived experience of mental health.

By working together, we believe that we can be a force for positive change in the way that mental health is treated, perceived, and recognised.

Our branches lead on work to improve local mental health services, campaign for reforms and changes to the negative ways that mental health problems can be viewed, and act as a local voice for those with a diverse range of lived experiences.

In partnership with Off the Record’s LGBTQ+ Voice and Influence project we are developing a dedicated LGBTQ+ Steering Group for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) areas to help create a safe and effective space for members of the LGBTQ+ community to come together. Members of the group will be able to voice their lived experience of trying to access mental health support and the quality of any support received. 


Graphic - a dedicated voice for the mental wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people


This will be a working group in which members can discuss issues, challenges and opportunities particular to the mental wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people. But we don’t just want to talk about these things; we want to help change and develop them. As a team, we’ll be creating and working on projects with the aim to drive positive change for our community within the services.

Membership of the group is open to LGBTQ+ individuals across BNSSG and we are keen to ensure that membership grows to fully reflect the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community.

Members of the IMHN team will facilitate Zoom meetings. There will be space for open discussion and identification of key priorities in which the group would like to campaign for change or increased awareness of LGBTQ+ needs. 

 

Group engagement, highlighted issues and resulting project work will be regularly fed back thematically and anonymously into the wider IMHN membership in order to increase awareness of LGBTQ+ needs and experiences. We believe that this will be particularly helpful for the awareness of organisational representatives that attend external meetings, and will ensure that voices of the LGBTQ+ community can be heard and responded to by commissioners and service providers in order to bring about meaningful change.

Please note that meetings will be taking place virtually for the time being. Should meetings be scheduled in-person, out-of-pocket travel expenses associated with attending will be reimbursed. This includes costs like bus tickets or car parking. Should your require taxi this will need to be agreed in advance.


If you’d like to get involved, click here to express your interest

We’ll be in touch!


Diversity Statement

This group welcomes all people. As an LGBTQ+ collective, we want to engage people across the spectrums of gender identity and sexuality, race and ethnicity. A person’s faith or beliefs, their relationship status, their employment and housing situations, and their mental and physical health needs are accepted without prejudice or judgement. 

We exist to celebrate our rich diversity within our community and to work together. As people of diverse backgrounds, we can help create change that will bring a significant benefit to the community, and to the wider world. 

The pandemic has uncovered the inequalities that have been beneath the surface of our society for decades. We believe that the best way forward is to join together and create a safe space for ourselves. We are not a minority and we do not have to be marginalised. 

Our differences make us strong. They give us the chance to learn, explore and grow. It’s in our differences that we will find our commonalities and, through sharing our knowledge and experience freely and without fear, we can bring about real change. We can beat oppression and discrimination together.

August 25, 2020 at 10:38 am

Members of the Independent Mental Health Network in North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol are currently working on a project to improve support and care pathways for those experiencing a mental health crisis in the local area.

In order to investigate how this support can be improved, we have launched a survey asking about peoples’ experiences and views about apps that aim to support and improve mental health and wellbeing.

Mobile phone apps can be used by people experiencing a mental health crisis. Sometimes, information about apps can be shared by mental health professionals.

The survey can be found by clicking the following link: surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MentalHealthApps.

We are encouraging people with all kinds of lived experience of mental health, including people that support those with mental health difficulties, to take visit and take part in the survey.

February 24, 2020 at 2:22 pm


Thank you to everyone that attended the Summit. You can keep up to date with our work in this area here. 


In partnership with civic and healthcare authorities across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, the Independent Mental Health Network (‘IMHN’) are proud to announce the upcoming Suicide Prevention Summit.

The Summit will take place as part of the Shine On Suicide Prevention Campaignon Monday 13 January 2020 at City Hall, College Green Bristol.

The aim of the Summit will be to agree a clear call-to-action on working together to prevent suicide, providing space and opportunities for both people with lived experience of mental health, and from within wider communities, to help shape this.

IMHN CEO Tom Renhard, said:

“We feel it is vital to be creating spaces for community groups and individuals with lived experience that are leading the fight to prevent suicide and self-harm across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, to come together and play a crucial role in how this work develops. 

We are supporting a wider regional ambition to reduce the number of people taking their own lives and doing that requires a grassroots approach as well as support from senior leadership. One life lost is one too many, and there is plenty for us all to do to ensure people know there is support available out there and play a role in improving things for the future.”

Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Bristol City Council Cabinet member for Communities, said:

“It is vital that we work with other organisations to help prevent suicide by offering the right support at the right time to those who need it. 

“Of equal importance is listening to people who have felt suicidal, and to the families and communities that have been impacted by suicide. This lived experience can help us shape mental health services and ensure no one in Bristol is unsupported.’’

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (‘BNSSG CCG’) will be sharing details of the all-age mental health strategy currently being developed for the area, which will be published in 2020.

Julia Ross, Chief Executive Officer of BNSSG CCG, said:

“Suicide is preventable rather than inevitable, and every person that takes their own life is one too many.

We are delighted to be working with people and partners across the area, including those with lived experience of mental ill health and self-harm, to tackle this together. Creating the right support network for people at risk of suicide requires a combined effort – from the NHS, councils, community and voluntary groups, families and others.

The summit will play a key role in joining this up, so that people can get the support they need, when they need it.”

The event programme will also consider the latest research into suicide prevention, work happening nationally, and a focus on initiatives and stories by people in the local area. We will also be inviting attendees to share their experiences and ideas about suicide prevention, stating what role communities should be playing in this work going forwards.

Because of the range of individuals and organisations expected to attend, spaces are limited. Please visit http://bit.ly/SuicidePreventionBNSSG to book an individual free place.

Please direct any queries to engagement[@]imhn.org.

Notes for Editors

What is the Shine On Campaign?

Shine On is a campaign focussing on suicide prevention across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, tackling suicide via a variety of initiatives; including a community grant scheme, the Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund.

The campaign is delivered by a partnership of organisations including Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Community Access & Support Service (CASS), Second Step, and the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN).

What is the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)?

IMHN is a member-led organisation that work both for and in the interests of people with lived experience of mental health. We support work improving local mental health services, contribute and campaign on mental health matters happening both locally and nationally, and actively challenge mental health stigma by working with partner organisations.

Why is the Shine On campaign, and the Summit being run for the Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire area?

In 2017, NHS England allocated an amount of money to address the higher than average suicide rate in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area. This fund is managed by the BNSSG Suicide Prevention Transformation Fund Working Group, and funds initiatives such as Second Step’s Hope Project, local campaigning and awareness raising, and more. This Working Group is supporting IMHN in delivering this campaign.

Who are the partners of the campaign?

This campaign is supported by the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Transformation Working Group. The Working Group is a partnership of local organisations that aim to address the higher-than-average rate of suicide across the local area. The group consists of:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Bristol City Council
  • Bristol North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG)
  • Community Access Support Service (CASS)
  • Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)
  • North Somerset Council
  • Public Health England
  • Second Step
  • South Gloucestershire Council
  • University of Bristol
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

 Where Can I Get More Information?

  • the campaign website can be found at www.shine-on.life
  • for further enquiries, please email  engagement[@]imhn.org

December 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm


Please note that this guide was put together for the December 2019 to January 2020 festive period. The information contained within the guide may now be out of date.

Update: in response to feedback, we have assembled a re-formatted version of the guide that is less condensed and intended to be easier to read. Please click here to download it. 


The Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) have produced a guide outlining the services providing wellbeing and mental health support available to people in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire period over the Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020 period. This follows on from the success of last year’s guide in helping people and communities navigate what is available at this time of this year.

After compiling this guide for the Bristol area for a number of years, and in response to feedback and requests from a large number of organisations and individuals, we are pleased to include details of appropriate services for the South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area in this year’s guide.

About the Guide

The guide lists mental health and wellbeing support available over the seasonal period, making note of any changes to opening or operating times, and contact details. It brings together information about mental health support from both NHS and voluntary & community sector partners that can be accessed.

Where a service is available to individuals living in either Bristol, North Somerset, or South Gloucestershire, the service will be listed under all three sections.

The guide also lists national helplines.

IMHN CEO, Tom Renhard, said:

“The festive season, whilst a time of celebration and relaxation for many, can be difficult for some. Many people may feel increasingly isolated at this time of year, or may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing for a variety of reasons.

We are pleased to produce this guide for the fourth year in a row, aiming to assist people right across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area in accessing the right support at the right time, should they need to.

The guide has been drafted to help people find the right information quickly, and has been shared with local organisations and charities. We would encourage you to share the guide with anyone you think might benefit from reading it.”

Click the image below to access the guide. Alternatively, the download link for the guide (in .pdf format) can be found here.

 

December 17, 2019 at 5:08 pm