Grant funding for our programmes work

The Mental Health Foundation aims to help people to prevent, manage and recover from mental health problems. Please note that we raise grants to fund our own work, and are not a grant making organisation. Please do not approach us for grants.

The Mental Health Foundation focuses on:

  1. Policy and campaigning work to influence and persuade stakeholders, backed-up by evidence from our research.
  2. Media and communications work to promote good mental health direct to the public, and provide guidance on how to deal with problems which arise.
  3. Programmes work consisting of time-limited projects offering a new intervention to specific vulnerable people, often in peer support groups.

Our Grants Team

In England and Wales comprises Ralph Coates (020 7803 1160), Rachel Prescott-Smith (020 7803 1128) and Lucy Edmondson (020 7803 1181), and in Scotland, Michael Wilson (0141 226 9846).

Our approach

Our programme work often features our facilitated peer support group approach and our self-management life skills training. We offer train-the-trainer models enabling participants to use what they’ve learned to pass it on to others, helping to sustain the work long-term.

Our programmes complement other treatments such as prescription drugs and counselling, putting people in touch with others facing similar challenges, and giving them the tools to improve their situation. Our objective is often to persuade local commissioners to find funds to extend the work beyond the life of the grant.

Newly funded projects

Around 40% of our funding annually (almost £2m) comes from restricted grants including the Scottish Government and many trusts and foundations. We are fortunate that many of our programmes in England, Scotland and Wales have benefitted from funding from The Big Lottery Fund.

We’ve recently secured two new grants for over £600,000 from the Fund, which are:

Standing Together Cymru: which replicates our original London project , creating 30 new facilitated peer support groups in South Wales for older people, and recruiting, training and supporting 60 volunteers to sustain the groups once our involvement comes to an end. The project will address loneliness and isolation for 450 beneficiaries aged 55 plus in sheltered and extra care housing.

Pass It On: deals with the additional challenges to their mental health faced by people with learning disabilities, a practical application of our 2014 Feeling Down report. For eight consecutive terms we will run an eight-week course at London South Bank University. Each of these will involve nine people with learning disabilities, three support workers from their housing providers, and nine students of Health and Social Care courses, destined to be health professionals.

The 72 people with learning disabilities who complete the courses will then become Pass It On advocates, and we then expect that between them they will help to set up around 50 peer support groups, each involving six people with learning disabilities and six carers or support workers, through whom they will pass on their learning about the mental health of people with learning disabilities.  

Other recently funded projects include:

Irish men at risk of suicide: A new project in Camden and Islington funded by City Bridge Trust and Sir Halley Stewart Trust which will use self-management and peer support groups to address long-standing mental health problems in Irish men aged 40 to 54, and their elevated risk of suicide. This will complement the suicide prevention strategy  we wrote for this area, and our campaigning work in Scotland which led to us presenting to the Scottish Government and helped create the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group .

Bridging the Gap: A project which seeks to bridge the gap in Scottish National Cancer Screening Programmes in those experiencing severe and enduring mental health conditions in Scotland, working with NHS Borders, Fife, Lothian and Tayside. Our grant of £179,982 is from The Screening Inequalities Fund set up by the Scottish Government to increase informed consent and participation in the national Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Breast, Bowel, Cervical, Diabetic Retinopathy screening programmes among people with a low participation rate, notably people with long-term mental health problems.

Planned new projects for which we seek funding

In addition to the projects listed above, we are seeking funding to sustain the following projects:

The Peer Education Project

Responding to the need to support young people’s mental health, the Peer Education Project (PEP) is an innovative school-based scheme. This five-lesson project introduces a better understanding of mental health at a critical developmental stage using a peer teaching method.

We train Year 12s (aged 16-17) as peer educators to deliver a range of sessions on mental health and well-being to Year 7s (aged 11-12) in school time, avoiding the reluctance many young people show when being taught such nuanced, personal topics by adults, whom they feel are detached from their personal experiences.


Thrive London, supported by the Mayor of London and the London Health Board, is a citywide movement for mental health. Thrive was launched in July 2017 to improve Londoners’ ‘health and happiness’, and is a partnership between the NHS, public health and local government. 

The Mental Health Foundation is currently piloting a programme of interventions to support better mental health in the community of Rockingham Estate in Barking and Dagenham, in partnership with Thrive London. We are seeking funding to do the same in Clapham Park Estate in Lambeth. By improving the mental health and wellbeing of the estate’s residents, we hope to give them a better chance of thriving. 

We have already executed intense consultation on our estates of focus, and our interventions are designed for every life stage. These interventions have already been delivered as separate, successful Mental Health Foundation projects and will be adapted to suit the estate communities and resources. They include the Young Mums Together Project , the Peer Education Project  and the Standing Together Project. 

If you are a Trust or Foundation interested in finding out more about either of these projects and how you can help, please speak to a member of our Grants team listed above.