11 Jan 2019
The Institute of Directors Northern Ireland and the Community Foundation is working in partnership to support mental health issues in 2019.
The Foundation, an independent charitable trust, exists to connect people who care with causes that matter in NI, and IoD NI, the leading business organisation has chosen mental health as the issue it would most like to address in the coming year.
Gordon Milligan Chairman IoD NI and Siofra Healy Director of Philanthropy Community Foundation
Under the partnership, five local charities have been selected to benefit from a new fund and the Foundation will match-fund monies raised by IoD NI members. The IoD NI Leadership Lunch in November raised £2453 in support of mental health issues which was doubled by the Foundation to bring the total raised to date to £4906.
The partnership which runs for one year will directly support Links Counselling Service, Mid Ulster Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Foyle Search and Rescue, PIPS Charity Newry and PIPS Charity Belfast.
All the benefiting charities work to help those affected by mental health and their loved ones. They are a mix of small local charities which are making a great impact in the communities they serve, covering a range of geographical areas and offering support in crisis situations, as well as undertaking preventative work and delivering counselling services.
Gordon Milligan, Chairman, IoD NI said: “We are pleased to be working with the Community Foundation to partner five local charities in order to raise awareness around the issue of mental health.
“As one of the main causes of sickness in the UK, bad mental health is a major driver for low productivity levels. Therefore, by investing in wellbeing, we not only help employees to thrive but enable businesses to thrive also.
“We very much look forward to showcasing the work of the Community Foundation, and helping to raise funds, across our busy calendar of events throughout the coming year,” said Gordon.
Mental health problems are widespread in Northern Ireland affecting one in five people with rates among young men particularly concerning and those who live in poorer areas suffer from a wider range of health issues.
For many there is a stigma attached to issues of mental health – particularly amongst men who won’t ask for help due to a fear of being stigmatised as ‘weak’.
Siofra Healy Director of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation said: “We know from our Vital Signs research that incidences of mental health issues experienced by people in NI are 20% higher than in England or Scotland. We are therefore delighted to work with IoD NI to help deliver funding where it is most needed.
“With a significant and increasing amount of applications to us for support being in relation to health and well-being projects, we understand and can see the great need that exists for mental health support in NI, and we will match pound for pound the money raised.
‘We would like to thank the IoD NI for helping to address this issue and on behalf of the charities and people that will benefit. This will help make a huge difference to people in our community,” said Siofra.
Donations towards the fund can be made at IoD NI events throughout the year.