Mental health charity which helps young people receives funding boost

PUBLISHED: 06:55 04 March 2020

Mental Health Awareness Portishead has won funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Mental Health Awareness Portishead has won funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A Portishead charity has received hundreds of pounds worth of Lottery funding.

Mental Health Awareness Portishead (MHAP) bagged £720 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

MHAP is a support group for parents and carers of young people struggling with mental health issues.

The group offers a friendly and welcoming space for carers who are supporting the wellbeing and mental health of young people.

It was set up in September 2018 by a parent whose child was struggling with their mental health and wanted to reach out to other parents or carers who were in a similar situation.

Group members support each other by sharing experiences and information in an informal but confidential setting.

Group co-ordinator Catherine Keitch told the Times: "It is amazing to receive this funding, which will enable us to host community events, reach out to the wider North Somerset area and bring people together and show they do not have to struggle alone.

"We have got quite a strong group but feel there are more people out there who do not know about us.

"It is hard to make the first step when you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health, but we want to make it easier for people and aim to provide help in a fun and friendly way."

MHAP is a subsidiary branch of Rethink Mental Illness, one of the largest charitable providers of services for people living with mental illnesses across the UK.

Going forward, the group hopes to set up table tennis tournaments, skittle teams and quiz nights in Portishead.

Catherine added: "We host craft therapy sessions throughout the year because it is really good for the mind and overall wellbeing.

"Our sessions make people think 'I can do with some of that in my life myself'.

"We are growing from strength to strength as a friendly and welcoming space for young people to share their thoughts in an informal but confidential environment."

The group meets at Redcliffe Bay Methodist Church, in Queens Road, on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 8pm to 9.30pm.

All sessions are free to attend and for more information, contact Catherine at mhap@rethink.org


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