Published On: 15th May 2023

The Access Foundation champions work of beneficiaries during Mental Health Awareness Week

The Access Foundation is highlighting the fantastic work of its beneficiaries operating within the mental health sector, during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May).

Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) creates an opportunity for us all to think about mental health, tackle stigma, and help create a society that prevents mental health problems from developing and protects mental well-being.

Through the funding of projects that enhance technology to help support this vulnerable community, the Foundation has been delighted to work with national charity Suicide & Co and Community Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service in South-West London.

The Foundation awarded a grant of almost £25,000 to CDARS, which has over 30 years' experience in supporting high needs clients struggling with their mental health.  CDARS aims to improve the lives of 1200 vulnerable people affected by mental health and substance misuse issues through a range of psychosocial activities, as a non-clinical alternative to A&E for people experiencing or at risk of a mental health crisis.

The grant will fund a digital inclusion programme for people experiencing mental health issues and/ or substance misuse issues. The programme will enable the participants to acquire ITC skills, to boost their confidence to use digital technology and so to become digitally included.

A representative from the charity said:

“The grant from Access Foundation will enable us to provide ITC skills to our most vulnerable clients who risk being left behind without them as services become more and more digitalised. This is therefore crucial to ensure they can participate in services and remain connected to their community. As we learnt during the lockdowns, ITC skills are now a necessary skill.”

In addition, the Foundation also awarded a £5000 grant to Suicide&Co, whose core purpose is to support those bereaved by suicide and open-up the conversation around suicide-related grief.

Navigating suicide bereavement can be hard. Suicide loss is devastating and quite often adds complicated layers to the already difficult grieving process. At Suicide&Co we provide those bereaved by suicide with access to a safe space where they can work through this grief with trained counsellors.

This grant from the Access Group Foundation will provide 139 sessions of counselling. This support is one-to-one counselling sessions, provided by Level 4 trained counsellors across England and Wales.

Individuals who are bereaved by suicide are at greater risk of negative outcomes after their loss, including mental illness, impaired social functioning and fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviours. Therapy and talking to a trained professional about the personal experience of the suicide of a loved one and unravelling their grief can alleviate these future negative outcomes.

The charity commented:

“We are on a huge mission, and we would not be able to continue to provide this life changing support to many who otherwise would not be able to access counselling, without incredibly generous grant funders like The Access Foundation.”