£20k grants to help Glasgow children’s mental health after pandemic

Grants of up to £20,000 are to be made available to mental health support groups for children in Glasgow to “mitigate the impact of the pandemic”.

The city’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) wants to distribute £500,000 of Scottish Government funding to the third sector.

It would focus on providing early interventions and preventative support to young people.

A report, to be presented to councillors on Thursday by Cllr Chris Cunningham, convener for health, care and caring and older people, states: “This funding for mental health and emotional wellbeing services seeks to supplement the current arrangements and act to mitigate against the impact of the pandemic.

£20k grants will be given to mental health groups.

“The funding has allowed the HSCP to provide additional capacity within existing services which are working well, and to develop new services for specific groups of children and young people.”

It adds: “The aim of the grants programme is to further enhance the system of third sector support available to children, young people and families in their local communities.

“This will help to strengthen neighbourhood support, and to appropriately divert children, young people and families away from more targeted services in circumstances where a clinical intervention is not required.”

According to the report, recent analysis of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) found around 50% of referrals to the service are “inappropriate” and “these children and young people could benefit from a different type of (non-clinical) support”.

It is hoped the funding can “strengthen the network of local support for children, young people and their families, with a specific emphasis on coaching families to understand their children’s mental health and neurodiversity needs”.

Money will be spent on providing “early intervention and preventative support” and to “prevent escalation into more targeted support”.

Distributing the money through two grants programmes will be used as “a test of change”, assessing the benefits of handing out funding via this method.

The first programme will focus on providing support to third sector partners who need more money for learning and development sessions on “enhancing strengths-based and trauma informed practice”. This programme will be capped at £100,000, with groups able to claim up to £20,000.

Smaller organisations have previously not had the “capacity or infrastructure to support participation in this type of learning and development”, the report added.

The second programme will fund community-based mental health and wellbeing schemes which can be delivered by the end of March next year. It will support organisations which can show “successful approaches to engaging with children, young people and families”. Under this scheme, £400,000 will be available with applicants able to bid for up to £20,000.

Councillors will be asked to approve both schemes when the city administration committee meets on Thursday. Organisations applying for funding must deliver services to residents living in Glasgow.

Applicants can include charities, community interest companies, social enterprises, housing associations and colleges. Bids will be assessed by a panel, which will include representatives from Children and Families Service and Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector.