Mental Health

We support charities with an annual income of £25,000 to £1 million with a strong track record of working with people living with or recovering from mental health problems that have significantly disrupted their everyday lives. We offer a two-year unrestricted grant of £50,000 alongside development support to help your charity navigate change.

What to expect when applying for funding


Learn about the type of work we fund

Start by selecting the complex social issue your charity mainly focuses on

Start by selecting the complex social issue your charity mainly focuses on


Check your eligibility in five minutes

Enter the local authority where you carry out your work

Enter the local authority where you carry out your work


We'll send you a link to a short application form

Tell us about your charity, the difference you make and your development needs

Tell us about your charity, the difference you make and your development needs


Your application will be reviewed by one of our Grants Officers

We’ll look at how your charity fits with our criteria

We’ll look at how your charity fits with our criteria


Have a virtual meeting with one of our managers

We will advise whether or not you will progress to the Grants Panel for a final decision

We will advise whether or not you will progress to the Grants Panel for a final decision

Our applications are open all-year round. We aim to give you a decision within four months

What We Fund

We support charities that specialise in supporting people managing and recovering from severe and enduring mental health problems that significantly disrupt their everyday lives. We expect charities we fund to have strong referral pathways to and from statutory mental health services and to deliver targeted, holistic and in-depth support.

The types of work we fund

We want to fund charities that support people who are managing severe and enduring mental health problems resulting in significant disruption to everyday living or in recovery from an episode of such problems occurring in the last two years.

This includes supporting people in managing conditions such as bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia or eating disorders. It does not include:

  • neurological conditions such as dementia
  • acquired brain injuries

What are we funding?

Our funding supports specialist charities filling the gaps in statutory services for people managing and recovering from mental health problems that have significantly disrupted their everyday lives.

We are looking to fund charities that

  • provide a specialist mental health service, working to address a gap in statutory provision. By specialist, we mean that at least 50% of the people you support are accessing primary and/or secondary mental health services. Your organisation has referral pathways between primary care and secondary care, that operate both ways.
  • includes ‘mental health’ and/or a specific mental health condition in their first or second charitable objects.
  • demonstrate a strong track record of person-centred work where the individual is assessed, their needs are identified, and a plan of long-term support put in place. Where your organisation is not able to meet all these needs, we would expect to see strong referral pathways in place. For example, outside of the home visits, companionship, and wellbeing support being offered, we would expect to see therapeutic/counselling support, helping the individual access health and social care, housing, benefits, and development of self-advocacy.

We will not fund charities that provide the following as their sole service

  • counselling
  • wellbeing activities to prevent people developing mental health problems (as opposed to such activities for people who already have a severe mental health illness)
  • signposting to statutory or voluntary mental health services

Questions your Grant Officer will ask may include:

  • How are the people you support significantly affected in their everyday living?
  • What percentage of the people you support have a clinical diagnosis?
  • Where do your referrals come from?
  • How does your work complement statutory provision?
  • How do you evidence the difference you make to your service users?

You can download our full eligibility criteria here.

We do not fund charities that provide counselling solely; we are interested in funding services that offer more holistic support to people with mental health problems. These could be delivered in-house or in partnership with other organisations.

How we manage Regional Priorities

We recognise that there are many charities out there who would like and would benefit from our support but, like any funder, we have a limit to the resources we have available. In fact, between now and the end of 2021, we will only be able to make around 190 new grants to small charities in England and Wales, and we know there are many more than that who would be eligible to apply.

We also want to be open and transparent with charities and make best use of their time by being clear in advance which charities and areas we are more likely to fund at any time. Therefore, we have introduced ‘regional priorities’.

Regional Priorities consider local need, the prevalence of eligible small and medium sized charities, the nature of the region and the level of investment the Foundation has given to each complex social issue in that area, including our portfolio of live grants.

Whether your charity can apply to us this year depends on which Local Authority you do the majority of your work in, and the Complex Social Issue you are working to address. We review and update these regional priorities every six months.

The Regional Priorities were last amended on 18 March 2022.

What do we mean by


We fund charities which work with people over a prolonged period (a minimum of 12-weeks). As a result, we do not fund work that is primarily one-off advice or signposting.

Holistic and person-centred

We expect the charity to use a 'person centred approach'. The individual will have been assessed and their needs identified with a plan of support put in place. Where your charity cannot meet all of an individual’s identified needs, you will need to tell us how you are working in partnership with others to address them.


We do not support work that is purely reactive, or for the benefit of an entire geographic community. The charity will have identified a specific group of beneficiaries, will understand their needs and pro-actively seek to support them.

Supporting a journey of change

We expect the charity to be able to monitor and measure positive, outcome-based changes. These may not always be ‘hard’ outcomes, but we need to see evidence that the charity is supporting its service users to develop new skills, confidence, independence, security and/or agency.

Core cost funding

We apply few restrictions to the grants we make, instead we trust charities to spend their money how they see fit. Therefore, we do not ask for a budget, or how the money will be spent.

Developmental Support

We are able to offer charities a range of tailored developmental support to help build organisational capacity, improve resilience and sustainability. Whether it’s support to embed a new database, one of our expert consultants to help with your governance or fundraising, or even guidance on a particular finance or HR issue. We know the impact this support can have, so we are particularly keen to work with charities that can demonstrate an understanding of their own organisational development issues, and an appetite to address these. 

Unrestricted funding

This is an unrestricted grant programme which means you can use the grant for any purpose that furthers your charity’s aims. For example, your Board might decide to build reserves or choose to pay for extra capacity to engage with organisational development.  We do not ask for a budget or how the money will be spent.

Our Racial Equity funding strand

Under our Racial Equity strand, we are looking to support charities where more than half of their Trustee Board self-identify as belonging to a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic community.

This funding is right for you if you can demonstrate that some of the services you provide are in-depth, holistic, and targeted at a particular Complex Social Issue. You’ll also be able to tell us the needs of the community you serve, and how you’ve identified these.

Learn more about funding under Racial Equity.

Watch our Core Funding Webinar and Q&A

Learn more about the fund, application process and eligibility for our core funding in this webinar with the Grants Team.


Still have questions? Download our eligibility criteria.

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If you are still experiencing issues give our support team a call on 0370 411 1223 or email us at

Apply for funding for Mental Health

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Success stories

Our Impact on Mental Health in 2020


new grants to charities addressing mental health issues


total new grants awarded


total number of partnerships with mental health charities across England and Wales

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