As Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close, LoveBrum continues to place focus on mental health projects across the West Midlands. LoveBrum, a project dedicated to unearthing hidden projects across the region, is highlighting the importance mental health by placing three local organisations into the spotlight for its monthly vote, which will see one of the projects receive £2,000 funding.
One in four adults in the UK suffer with mental illnesses every single year; a shocking statistic that presents an alarming view of what our family and friends could be facing without recognition or help. With two thirds of people in the UK saying they have experienced a mental health problem, it is clear that this is still something that needs to be at the top of the agenda.
LoveBrum has selected three causes that work within the local community in a bid to banish the stigma surrounding mental health issues and help make a difference.
Mental illness can be extremely isolating and often social withdrawal comes as a result. Kinmos, a community support group based in Kings Heath, works closely with people vulnerable to or who have been suffering from a mental illness. The project is the first of three causes to be showcased in LoveBrum’s monthly vote, and provides community based events to help rebuild skills, independent and confidence through creating a social connection.
The Wellbeing Community Choir is the second cause chosen by LoveBrum. Through singing, the choir aims to promote and maintain good mental health. The choir is aimed at the whole community, but specifically hopes to support individuals suffering with or recovering from mental illness. Other members of the choir are mental health service users, carers and professionals.
At a time where people are demanding that funding of mental health services should be equal to that of physical health, it comes as no surprise that there are visible gaps in the delivery of mental health support. A small group of mental health professionals recognised this gap and COPE was born. The COPE mental health foundation is the final cause in this month’s vote. COPE is an organisation campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of the impact mental health illness has on individuals and their families.
In 2016, the West Midlands had one of the lowest rates of mental health care prevalence in the UK, meaning that without causes like Kinmos, the Wellbeing Community Choir and COPE continuing to provide their vital work in the community, the region could potentially rank significantly higher and people could be missing out on much-needed support.
Launched at the beginning of 2015, LoveBrum supports hidden gem projects across Birmingham that are often volunteer-led and that deliver real change. The charity aims to profile around 40 causes per year, with 12 receiving £2,000 funding complemented by a years’ business support. These projects are promoted as part of a monthly vote, where members find out about a cause every week and vote for their favourite at the end of the month.
The monthly voting process puts the spotlight on individual projects at the start of each week, with LoveBrum members then having the opportunity during the final week to vote for the cause that they deem most deserving.
To find out how to support these local mental health projects, visit lovebrum.org.uk.
By Nicole Gauntlett, Account Executive of East Village Agency providing PR, marketing and events for retail and leisure brands, based in Birmingham.