Funded Travelling Fellowships to support Community Based Approaches to Mental Health

In 2017, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will be investing around £1.3 million in British citizens, by awarding 150 Travelling Fellowships.

This will directly support British citizens who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities, and society as a whole.

Travelling Fellowships will be awarded in the Mental Health - community based approaches category, and the application process is now open.

Given that 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 24, it is clear that issues around mental health need to be urgently addressed.

For the second year, the Mental Health Fellowships will run in a partnership with The Mental Health Foundation. Since the start of this partnership, 21 Fellowships have been awarded in this category, an investment of over £125,000 in British citizens.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust would like to hear from people involved in delivering community based treatment and support, including training and awareness for those in education and youth organisations. People working with veterans and their families, and those providing support in the work place, are also encouraged to apply.

Among those travelling this year, in this category, are:

  • Adele Owen, a police constable and mental health lead from Manchester. She will be travelling to Norway and the USA to investigate mental health peer support networks within the police force.
  • Patricia Jarrett, a research fellow in midwifery from Oxford, who will be going to the USA and Australia to research ways of reducing stigma in perinatal mental health.

Case study

Mark Bolt is an operational police officer who has studied the interface between criminal justice and mental health. In 2013 he travelled to the USA for six weeks to experience first-hand models that US Law enforcement agencies have adopted when dealing with those in mental health crises, and how the police and courts alter the criminal justice pathways of offenders with mental health needs. In Chicago he learned about the Crisis Intervention Team model whereby 40% of frontline staff undergo enhanced training to enable them to de-escalate situations and deal effectively with the individual -minimising harm to officers as well as offenders. In Baltimore County, he witnessed the Mobile Crisis Team model both in the classroom with trainees and then out on patrol attending various incidents involving individuals in mental health crises. He was also able to study the support offered in jail. Mark has been instrumental on his return in developing and delivering a ‘mental health for frontline officers’ training package. He is also the lead for the Liaison and Diversion project, whereby mental health clinicians have been integrated into the criminal justice process at the earliest stage.

Successful applicants must demonstrate the commitment, the character and the tenacity to travel globally in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of current challenges facing the UK, and upon their return work to transform and improve aspects of today’s society.

A travelling sabbatical for people with the drive, determination and desire to help others, can further their leadership and role model abilities. Employees who are awarded Fellowships bring great benefits to their employers, not only in terms of the positive impact on their personal development, but also with the advantage of their enhanced knowledge, new ideas and examples of best practice that they bring back to the organisation.

Applications are judged purely on project merit, and these opportunities are available to all UK residents over the age of 18, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6,000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being visited, for approximately six weeks overseas.