Council cash grant to help those with mental health problems in St Albans

Mental health charities in St Albans are to benefit from a £30,000 cash grant which will go towards a living room to provide therapy.

St Albans District Council is giving £30,000 to mental health charities as part of its commitment to supporting the voluntary sector.

The grants are provided through the council’s project commissioning fund as part of its wider work with charities that support people with mental health issues.

They include £7,317 to set up a Living Room support centre in St Albans providing therapy for people seeking recovery from addictions and support for their families.

Simon Bloomfield, funding and development manager for the Living Room, said: "The Living Room has been providing therapy and support for individuals and families affected by addiction for 12 years.

"During that time many people have gone on to gain abstinence from drugs, alcohol and addictive behaviours such as disordered eating and problem gambling. Over the years, many people travelled to our Stevenage centre from St Albans and the surrounding area.

"We are delighted to receive a grant from the council towards the cost of setting up a similar project in St Albans. This means that together with the project’s running costs provided by Hertfordshire County Council, local churches and individuals we are now able to extend the hope of recovery to many more people in the south of the county."

The council will also fund four other organisations providing mental health services, including £3,000 towards ADD-vance, a support service for people with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and related conditions, and £9,750 for Youth Talk, a free and confidential counselling service for young people.

St Albans Bereavement Network have also received a £3,500 and Mind, a national mental health charity have received £6,600.

Councillor Beric Read, portfolio holder for community engagement and localism for the council said: "Every year one in four of us will experience a mental health problem, according to the mental health charity Mind. It is therefore important that support is readily available for residents locally.

"St Albans Youth Council identified a need for extended provision, in particular for young people, in the District. The District Council has been able to help fill this gap by providing extra funding for five mental health charities offering much-needed support.

"This includes the newly-opened Living Room. Its work has enabled many people to overcome their dependence on drugs, alcohol and addictive behaviours such as disordered eating and problem gambling."

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