A major mental health anti-stigma campaign is to be launched in England as part of a £126 million Big Lottery Fund programme to improve the nation’s wellbeing.
The £16m four-year mental health campaign involving Mind, Rethink, Mental Health Media and the Institute of Psychiatry, will include national advertising, campaigns targeted at professional groups and a mass participation event, similar to the Race for Life organised in support of Cancer Research UK.
The funding made available by the Lottery dwarfs the £1m a year currently spent by the government on its anti-stigma programme, Shift, which campaigners have long felt was underfunded.
Research published by the government this month revealed public attitudes towards people with mental health problems had worsened over the past 13 years.
Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said: “Attitudes to mental health are stuck in the Victorian asylum. This fantastic opportunity is our chance to start to change the view of society about mental health.”
The Lottery also awarded £15m to Age Concern to improve the mental wellbeing of over-50s, combating depression and dementia through activity and healthy eating.
And youth homelessness charity the Foyer Foundation was given £2.5m to introduce life coaching, healthy eating and fitness workshops at 50 centres.
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