Sixteen community-led projects that tackle mental health discrimination have received funding totalling £533,600 from the Time to Change programme.
Among the first projects to receive funding was Raise Your Voice, run by Liverpool-based The I Choir, which will use the money to hold song-writing workshops with the theme of talking openly about mental health. Funding also went to Challenge Minds, Inspire Change, run by The Afiya Trust, which will use the money to create an advisory group comprising 10 people from black and minority ethnic communities with experience of mental health problems.
Time to Change is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief. A total of £2.7m will be awarded by the fund over three years.
The fund is now open for the second round of applications, which will include about four grants worth up to £100,000 and three grants worth up to £80,000.
A spokeswoman said the programme was keen to receive applications from user-led organisations and projects working with children and young people in the west midlands. It is also looking to fund a project from the east midlands. It is aiming to fund another 16 projects.
Sue Baker, director of Time to Change, said: "What works to challenge stigma in one community may not work in the same way in another, so through the grants fund we are putting the power to make change happen into the hands of the experts – the people who know their communities the best."
The second round of grants will be awarded by the end for the year, with two more rounds of funding to take place in 2013. The deadline for applications is 21 September.
For information, visit www.time-to-change.org.uk/grants.