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World Mental Health Day: Cash boost shows its taken more seriously than ever

Tuesday 10th October 2017
Tuesday October 10th marks World Mental Health Day, with new funding announced for various mental health support projects in the UK to coincide with the event. Image: frikota via iStock
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    Today (Tuesday October 10th) is World Mental Health Day across the globe. To coincide with the annual event, several measures have been announced that demonstrate that mental health is being taken more seriously than ever before in the UK.

    To start with, the Scottish government has revealed it will be making an extra £500,000 available to mental health support services in Scotland, taking the total amount of funding for this area to over £1.1 million.

    Helpline NHS 24 will benefit from this funding boost. The service is available 24 hours a day to anyone wanting to talk about their mental health, with annual user numbers more than doubling over the past ten years from 38,000 in 2006 to around 87,000 in 2016.

    Speaking to BBC Scotland, senior mental health nurse Paula Shiels explained: "For many people, it's really beneficial because actually the most difficult thing for people to do is to take that first step and have that face-to-face conversation about their mental health and wellbeing."

    Meanwhile, younger members of the royal family have also announced that they will be providing a funding boost to UK mental health services, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry pledging £2 million from the Royal Foundation to support their Heads Together mental health campaign. This marks the largest ever single release of funding from the charitable trust.

    The money will be used to set up a new digital innovation unit that will have the task of developing tools and services to help people open up about their mental health and access specialist support via digital mediums.

    Chris Martin, chief executive officer of the Mix - one of eight charity partners involved in the campaign, told Sky News: "Now is the perfect moment for the Royal Foundation to help kickstart the creation of impactful new tools that will help young people have conversations about their mental health and find the support they need."

    Written by Angela Newbury

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