This report summarises the monitoring and reporting data for Year 1 of the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund (the Fund). The data has been provided to the Scottish Government by the Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) in their capacity as the lead partner for the delivery of the Fund.
It draws together information from:
- The local partnership plans produced by each local partnership group (TSIs and local partners) submitted by TSIs in December 2021;
- The interim progress reports submitted by TSIs in January 2022; and
- The end year reports submitted by TSIs in April 2022
To provide a national account of local reporting data, the analysis has been undertaken by the Communities Team within the Wellbeing and Prevention Unit of the Mental Health Directorate, Scottish Government. It should be noted that this provides a summary of data collected so far and that further information will be collected later on Year 1 in terms of the drawing out the impact and outcomes of the projects being funded.
2. Background on the Fund
- In October 2021, as part of the £120 million Recovery and Renewal Fund, the Minister for Mental Wellbeing announced £15 million funding for 2021/22 for a new Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for adults to help tackle the impact of social isolation, loneliness and mental health inequalities made worse by the pandemic.
- In February 2022, an additional £6 million was provided for 2021/2022 to the Fund to meet the demand for local mental health and wellbeing projects, bringing total funding made available in 2021-22 to £21 million.
- In May 2022, it was formally announced by the Minister for Mental Wellbeing that £15 million for a second year of the Fund would be made available for 2022/23.
- The Fund supports the development of an integrated culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities and across Scotland, developing and building on existing capacity within community organisations and grassroots groups and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of individuals.
- The funding recognises the important role that small, grass roots, community groups play in supporting adult mental health and wellbeing and builds on the excellent examples of good practice we have seen emerge throughout the pandemic.
- The Fund is aimed at tackling priority issues within the Transition and Recovery Plan - such as suicide prevention, social isolation and loneliness, prevention and early intervention - and addressing the mental health inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic including a particular focus on needs of ‘at risk’ target groups locally such as:
Women (particularly young women, and women and young women affected by gender based sexual violence); people with a long term health condition or disability; people who are or have been on the highest risk (previously shielding) list; people from a Minority Ethnic background; refugees and those with no recourse to public funds; people facing socio-economic disadvantage; people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage; people with diagnosed mental illness; people affected by psychological trauma (including adverse childhood experiences); people who have experienced bereavement or loss; people disadvantaged by geographical location (particularly remote and rural areas); older people (aged 50 and above); and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities.
For further information on the Year 1 of the Fund, please see the 2021/22 Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund National Fund Guidance.
- The Fund is being delivered through a locally focused and co-ordinated approach via local partnership groups (building upon existing partnerships), working together to ensure that support to community based organisations is directed appropriately and in a coherent way.
- Each Third Sector Interface TSI has overall accountability for the spend at local level and working in collaboration with Integration Authorities and other existing local partnerships, leads in the coordination of the local plan and undertakes fund administration, capacity building support and local monitoring and evaluation.
- Local application processes were accessible through local TSIs and were shared nationally at Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund - TSI Scotland Network and through a wide range of networks. All application processes had commenced by end November 2021.
- National fund guidance was shared with TSIs, which in keeping with local needs and strategies and the national aims of the Fund, provided local flexibility about the approach to distributing the Fund to grass roots community groups and organisations locally.
- Funding was distributed through grants to the 31 Third Sector Interfaces (TSI) across Scotland (with the Dumfries and Galloway TSI managing Borders funding of their behalf).
- £15 million was distributed across all regions and in line with current NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee Formula (NRAC). The additional £6 million was allocated on a demand led basis, with 27 TSIs receiving additional funding. Further detail can be found at Annex C.
- An administration grant was provided to each TSI to support administration of the Fund including a capacity building role to support and ensure accessibility of the Fund to less experienced groups.
- Support has been provided to local partnerships through the establishment of a National Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Network. The Network meets regularly and aims to connect local partnerships (TSIs, Health and Social Care Partnership leads, Suicide Prevention leads and any other interested parties) to help share good practice and learning from the Fund.
- A National Oversight Group for the Fund was established in January 2022 to provide advice around delivery of the Fund in line with the vision and intended outcomes as set out in the Fund guidance. The independent, time-limited advisory group has met three times to date.
All TSIs were asked to complete:
- a Local Partnership Plan and a summary feedback template;
- an online Questback survey for interim report data; and
- an online Questback survey for end year reporting data
The information provides both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data gathered includes funding details, such as type of project, size of grant given, and geographical coverage, while qualitative data covers project examples, feedback on process such as fund management and learning reflections from TSIs.
This summary is focused on reporting returns from TSIs on: the process (in terms of the approach to delivery); the reach of projects (in terms of the number and nature of projects and their reach to target groups); and on the learning gained from Year 1 of the Fund.
While it would have been helpful to collect more information on outcomes in the end year reporting, the timescales involved in Year 1 of Fund (launched in October 2021) means that many organisations will have received funds later in the financial year. Therefore it is difficult for projects, and consequently TSIs, to report on impact and outcomes at this early stage. Given this, questions posed to TSIs were largely limited to those areas where real progress could be calibrated and reported.
At a later stage, evaluative work will take place to consider the impact of Year 1 and Year 2 projects. This could consider the perspectives of funded projects, project users and other local partners involved in the Fund.
5. Structure of the report
This report outlines key findings under three themes:
- Section A Process - Approach To Delivery
- Section B Reach Of Funded Projects
- Section C Learning And Reflection
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