West Lothian is to receive almost £500,000 to support individuals experiencing mental health issues and trauma.
The funding, part of a £15m health spend by the Scottish Government’s Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, was welcomed by councillors on the Voluntary Organisations Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel.
A total of £470,000 will be aimed at small grassroots community organisations that support individuals experiencing inequalities, mental health issues and trauma.
The money will be administered by West Lothian’s Voluntary Sector Gateway.
CEO Alan McCloskey said: “It’s welcome news for West Lothian.
“We are working to develop the guidance that will be sent round. We will make it as simple as possible in terms of guidance and the application process.”
Applications will be accepted from a range of voluntary, not-for-profit organisations, associations and clubs or consortiums/partnerships that have a strong community focus for their activities.
Mr McCloskey said: “Applications are particularly welcome from groups that support women, particularly young women, and women and young women affected by male sexual violence; people with a long-term health condition or disability; people from a minority ethnic background; people facing socio-economic disadvantage; people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage; people affected by psychological trauma, including adverse childhood experiences; people who have experienced bereavement or loss; older people; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities.”
Councillor Chris Horne said the news of the new fund was “fantastic” but added that the committee should recognise the challenge faced by Mr McCloskey and his team in getting the money out to groups by the end of the November deadline.
He added: “I suppose I speak for all on this committee when I say if there are things we can do to promote this new fund and get it out there then please do ask.”
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By local democracy reporter Stuart Sommerville