A new £15 million fund has been launched in Scotland to tackle the impact of social isolation, loneliness and the mental health inequalities made worse by the pandemic.

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund aims to support adult community-based initiatives across Scotland.

Grass roots community groups and organisations will be able to benefit from the funds to deliver activities and programmes to people to re-connect and revitalise communities and build on examples of good practice which have emerged throughout the pandemic.


Jeremy Bacon, our Third Sector Lead, said: “This is a welcome announcement from the Scottish government that recognises the importance of third sector community organisations in addressing inequalities and barriers that people face in accessing psychological support.

“More than a year on from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen inequalities in all nations of the UK highlighted as never before.

Evidence has emerged on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black and Minority Ethnic communities, people with disabilities, older people, people from the LGBTQ+ community and for people from other marginalised community backgrounds.

Long-standing and enduring inequalities in health have been brought out of the shadows by the pandemic.

“There is an urgent need to fund services that have reach into communities, including those delivered by trained and qualified counselling professionals.

In our own work engaging with third sector organisations, we’ve heard how lack of funding limits the reach of life-changing therapy.


“This, and future funding, is essential in supporting Scotland to recover from the impact of the pandemic and to begin to tackle deep-rooted health inequalities.”

Launching the fund, Kevin Stewart, Scotland’s mental wellbeing minister, said: “This funding reflects the importance we place on promoting good mental health and early intervention for those in distress and will help develop a culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities.

“It’s vital now, more than ever as we start to reopen society, that we support the mental health and wellbeing of individuals. I’m very keen that this benefits communities across all of Scotland."