THE North-East is to host one of eight new national hubs to receive funding to tackle mental health stigma.

County Durham will become a 2019 Time to Change funded hub, with the aim of changing the way people think and act about mental health problems.

The status was awarded by the Time to Change campaign following the success of an application by Investing in Children (IiC) and Durham County Council.

The project will be co-ordinated by IiC – a children’s human rights organisation in partnership with the council and voluntary and community sector organisations.

Hub coordinator, Chris Affleck, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for County Durham to build on the great work that has been achieved so far as a Time to Change organic Hub.

“Through the work of our partnership anti-stigma group ‘Stamp It Out’ we can continue to develop our engaging tool kit.

“We will be working to empower and enable marginalised and vulnerable communities to deliver their own projects with financial support through the Champions Fund.

"We look forward to taking this work to the next level and the opportunity to work in partnership with Time to Change.”

Time to Change Durham will be provided with £15,000 start-up budget along with £10,000 for a Champions Fund.

This will allows local ‘champions’ to bid for funding to run stigma-busting events and activities within their area.

The hub will combine the insights of the national Time to Change campaign with local knowledge.

It will also support communities, workplaces and schools to take action to end negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems in their communities.

Jo Loughran, director of Time to Change, said: “When one in four of us will fight a mental health problem in any given year and suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 40, it’s vital that we come together to end mental health stigma. Our network of Time to Change hubs are able to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.”

  • To find out more visit @StampOutStigmaInDurham on Facebook, or email Chris Affleck at