Isolation during the pandemic has increased the threat to people's mental health and wellbeing. The Centre for Mental Health predicts that at least half a million more people are likely to suffer from mental ill health as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This week the British Medical Association has warned that, unless extra support is provided, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to a mental health crisis in the UK. They say this impact could also widen existing inequalities if the right targeted support is not given to the more vulnerable groups of the population. It adds to the poor funding and lack of resources in treating mental health across the UK.
We Love MCR Charity is doing their part to counter this in Manchester, by funding four expert local charities, so that they can offer urgent support to some of our most vulnerable neighbours. These 4 charities are offering mental health support to some of the people facing the greatest risks of Mental Health problems during the Covid-19 crisis: young people, older isolated people, BAME & migrant women, and LGBT+ people.
Those four charities sent We Love MCR Charity videos of thanks for the grants and explaining what it will allow them to do. Watch them here: https://youtu.be/FLsVYZWYICc Dropbox Link here: https://tinyurl.com/MCRMentalHealth and read their words below.
Simone Spray, CEO of 42nd Street, spoke to us about how the grant will help their work with our city’s young people:
“Over the last few months young people have been telling us the lack of an end point and continuous change is affecting their sense of stability. We've also learnt that for some, online support is brilliant but for others, it can be really difficult. With the aid of this grant we can find creative ways to put specific therapeutic support in place either via our online platform or eventually face to face.
Alongside that we will run a weekly group for some of the most adversely impacted young people, which will be couched in our creative programme to support young people to normalise their feelings and emotions, develop new coping strategies, understand change and even celebrate their experiences alongside their peers. We would like to say thank you to We Love Manchester for supporting young people in this way at this critical time in their lives”
The LGBT Foundation, serving the needs of LGBT people in Manchester for 45 years, said:
“We are delighted to receive an award from We Love Manchester Charity, which will enable us to provide more LGBT affirmative counselling to Manchester residents than ever before. Since lockdown, we have seen an unprecedented level of demand for our services, with more than double the number of referrals compared to this time last year.
The award will make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of LGBT people. We are very grateful to We Love Manchester Charity for their incredible generosity, and for their continued support in empowering our communities to live healthy and fulfilling lives.”
Dr. Peggy Mulongo, Head of Health & Wellbeing at NESTAC said:
“We are so grateful to We Love Manchester Charity for this grant, which will help us to increase our capacity to deliver mental health support to vulnerable women from BAME communities in Manchester. Our bilingual mental health specialists are now able to provide cross-cultural mental health support to vulnerable women, using digital platforms to reach the most isolated ones.
These women are mainly victims of sexual and/or domestic abuse who already experience multiple stressors affecting their mental wellbeing, which has been further worsened due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The support we are able to provide as a result of the grant is a welcome lifeline during this difficult and emotionally challenging time.”
Rob Paterson, Development Co-ordinator at Manchester Cares, told us:
“A huge thank you to We Love Manchester for supporting our community with a generous grant. Manchester Cares connects older (65+) and younger (18+) neighbours to alleviate isolation and loneliness in both groups. Covid-19 has further isolated our community, particularly older neighbours who have been shielding alone, taking a huge toll on the mental health and wellbeing of many.
This will help us to run virtual social clubs, provide tech support, create phone friendships and send out activity packs in the post. We will now also be able to conduct check-in calls and work in partnership with other community organisations to ensure that these urgent needs are being met.”
We Love Manchester's Community Response Fund has raised £623,000 from generous public and corporate donations, and has already awarded £850,000 in vital grants to frontline groups responding to the pandemic, raiding its reserves to plug this funding gap.
We Love Mcr Charity is urgently appealing for donations to top the Fund up, so their vital work can continue.
Speaking as Chair of the Board of We Love Mcr Charity, the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Abid Latif Chohan said:
"Our Community Response Fund offers hope and help to thousands of our most vulnerable neighbours. There is still so much we can do to address the impacts of Covid-19 in our communities, but we need your help. If you can afford to, please donate to our Response Fund today. We promise every penny will provide urgent help on the frontline right now."
Donations to the Covid-19 Community Response Fund can be made online here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/mcr-response-fund
You can text MANCHESTER 10 to 70470 to give £10.
Or to discuss how you can fundraise for the Fund, or to offer a major gift, you can call 07809 284920.