Open Mental Health Grants

Grants of up to £40,000 available to support projects to improve mental health and wellbeing in Somerset

Open Mental Health Community Grants are being delivered by the Somerset Mental Health Alliance.

The Mental Health Alliance is a group of charities working alongside the NHS to ensure that people in Somerset get the support they need, when they need it. We deliver the Open Mental Health service, and are looking to expand the provision of support in Somerset by inviting local organisations to apply for a grant of up to £40,000.

What we will fund:

We want to fund projects that demonstrate they can have a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people in Somerset, and meet the ambitions of the alliance, which are to:

  • Develop and expand mental health provision in Somerset
  • Demonstrate a positive impact on mental wellbeing
  • Encourage partnership and collaborative working

Generic support/activities, not fundable
This might include: social prescribing, signposting, general activities such as football, rugby, river walks and/or art groups. Although these types of activities keep us healthy, in order to receive funding there needs to be a strong and clear link to mental health.

Preventative support, funding considered
This might include: gardening for wellbeing, befriending, social groups with a focus on mental health and reducing isolation, theatre classes exploring trauma, wellbeing-specific activities. We recognise the need to invest in mental health prevention and early intervention; groups/activities like this can be a lifeline for many people and funding will be considered. 

Moderate-severe mental health, target funding
This might include: suicide prevention support, hearing voices groups, counselling, employment and activities that support people with enduring mental health needs. Projects targeted at this group will be prioritised if they fit the criteria as the focus for Open Mental Health is clients with serious mental illness.

We welcome and actively encourage partnership bids. We also encourage applications from under-represented groups.

You can apply for a grant to cover capital and revenue costs, but we will only fund costs which are involved in direct delivery of a project or activity. Local groups/individuals who are not constituted can apply for a grant of up to £2,000, subject to appropriate governance being in place.*

For all applications:

Your project must meet the following criteria:

  • It should be Somerset based only, defined by the current Somerset County Council boundaries and includes local authority areas of Mendip, South Somerset, Sedgemoor and Somerset West & Taunton. Unfortunately projects based predominantly in BANES or North Somerset are not eligible
  • It should be aimed at adults aged over 18 years
  • It should support those affected by moderate to severe mental ill health
  • It must start within 6 months
  • Primary bidder must be a voluntary sector organisation, such as a charity, CIC, unincorporated group or social enterprise

For projects seeking over £2,000:

Your application should demonstrate:

  • how your project links with the wider mental health provision across the area in which you plan to work
  • how your project supports those affected by moderate to severe mental ill health
  • how potential beneficiaries have helped to develop planned project activities
  • how people will be referred to or signposted towards your project

It should also show how your organisation demonstrates the values aligned to the Open Mental Health Network which are:

  • we co-produce with service users and carers
  • we are values-led and recovery-focused
  • we deliver high-quality social interventions
  • we support each other and share good practice
  • we are accessible and responsive

How to apply:

Applications for grants of £2,000 and under can be submitted at any time.

Applications for the next round grants over £2,000 will need to be submitted by 12pm on 31st July 2022. These will be assessed by a panel and applicants will notified of the outcome within 7 days of the panel date.


Apply for an Open Mental Health Community Grant
For further information or to discuss your application, please email
*If you are an individual, please contact us before starting your application so that we can discuss how you operate.
This funding programme is supported by NHS Somerset and Public Health.