INDIVIDUALS with personal experience of mental health problems are being encouraged to apply for a share of £10,000 to run stigma busting events and activities.

Earlier this year County Durham was one of eight areas selected to become a Time to Change Hub and was awarded funding to help tackle mental health stigma.

People across the county have until Tuesday, October 1, to apply for a grant of up to £500, to help educate their community about mental health issues.

The Time to Change Champions Fund will be coordinated by Investing in Children, a children’s human rights organisation, in partnership with Durham County Council and a number of voluntary and community sector organisations.

Councillor Lucy Hovvels MBE, the council’s mental health champion and Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, so it’s essential that we raise awareness of this important issue. Mental health is an often misunderstood topic, but a person’s attitude to mental health could be life changing for someone.”

“We want to hear from people over the age of 18, who have personal experience of a mental health problem, who could run an event or activities which could help to change people’s attitudes and behaviour around mental health. We don’t need them to provide evidence or details and they don’t have to have a current mental health problem, but their experience of a mental health problem at some point in their life could help us to end mental health discrimination in County Durham.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the fund can contact Investing in Children by calling 0191 307 7030 or emailing

Successful applications will be announced on Thursday, October 10.