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Council tackles loneliness in Mental Health Awareness Week

Published Monday, 9 May 2022

As part of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9 to 15 May), the Council is supporting initiatives to tackle loneliness and social isolation.

Groups and organisations in the city are being invited to apply for funding of up to £5,000 to support projects to help reduce loneliness and isolation. Organisations can submit their applications before Friday 20 May to help isolated people connect with their communities through cultural activities, employment and learning opportunities. The funding can be used to cover project costs and can be applied for through Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2022. The successful applications will feature in a new project to combat loneliness across the city, which is set to be announced later this summer.

The HomeShare scheme is another initiative to help tackle loneliness, which gives older adults support and companionship in their own home. HomeShare carefully matches an older homeowner with a younger person to live in their spare room and to provide 10 hours of support per week in exchange for accommodation. Find out more about HomeShare York online or email: homeshareyork@york.gov.uk.

Our Feel Real York campaign is encouraging residents to have open conversations about mental health, which can help address the feelings loneliness or isolation can create. As part of the campaign, resources have been collected from a range of experts at Live Well York. It includes support from the NHS and national campaigns such as Time to Change, as well as tailored resources for York including the Tees, Esk and Weir valley Foundation Trusts, York and Selby IAPT and Recovery College Online.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council said:

Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is paramount in these challenging times.

The intergenerational project and Cultural Wellbeing Grants build on the city’s commitment to tackling isolation and supporting mental health. By continuing to inspire and build on the rich programme of activity in the city, these grants will also support York’s voluntary sector post pand0emic. We’re looking forward to receiving a variety of applications for grants for projects with wellbeing at their core.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care at City of York Council, said:

Some 30% of people ask for a GP appointment for a non-medical reason which is often linked to social isolation.

This a reason why the city’s Ageing Well partnership and the council’s Volunteering Strategy have tackling loneliness and building a sense of belonging at their heart. If loneliness is affecting you or someone you know, please do try the wellbeing tips and the activities at Live Well York, and if it’s right for you, check out the HomeShare scheme.”

Anyone who needs to speak to someone about feeling lonely can visit the NHS webpage for Loneliness to find further advice and support.

If you’re experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood, the NHS mental health hub has advice, audio guides and practical tools to help.