Project Background

In 2013, Big Lottery Fund NI put out an invitation to tender for their £3million ‘Promotion of Positive Mental Health in Northern Ireland’ contract. In conjunction with Aware, Cause, Cruse, Mindwise, Nexus NI, Praxis Care, Relate NI and The Rainbow Project, Action Mental Health (AMH) submitted a bid, naming the project ‘Together For You’.

Together For You launched on World Mental Health Day, October 2013. World Mental Health Day is observed annually on October 10th to raise public awareness about mental health issues. One in four people will experience mental ill health once in their lifetime (World Health Organisation), however the prevalence is becoming increasingly important in Northern Ireland. Research in 2007 (DHSSPSNI [2007] Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability (Northern Ireland)) showed that people in Northern Ireland had twice the incidence of mental health disorders than those in England.

The need for a collaborative “joined up” approach to meeting Northern Ireland’s mental health and wellbeing needs has long been recognised by the Northern Ireland mental health community. The Big Lottery Fund £3 million contract has given nine leading mental health organisations within Northern Ireland the opportunity to work together for the first time, under a joint banner. Together For You will enable:

  • those using the service to benefit from complementary skills and experience which, when combined, offer added value and benefit;

  • a better understanding of the mental health and wellbeing needs of the Northern Ireland population due to a sharing and joint analysis of people benefitting from the service across Northern Ireland;

  • the co-ordinated delivery of services across 100+ project sites spanning all five Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland and covering urban and rural localities. This will support the delivery of services in areas where there is an under-developed infrastructure and/or acute inequalities.

By 2016, the project aimed to have the following outcomes:

  • Improved level of mental health and wellbeing amongst 80% of beneficiaries

  • Improved learning for the organisations, informing future service delivery

  • Delivery of customer-focused holistic services, targeted at those most in need in our society.

By 2016, the project had a target to reach:

  • 35,137 targeted beneficiaries

  • 51,079 indirect beneficiaries - supporters, carers and families and a community legacy of good mental health.

Together For You, over the life of the project, reached over 52,000 benificaries.  To find out the full impact of their services, read the final evaluation report here.

To contact Together For You, call 028 9032 9150 or email tfy@amh.org.uk

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