Mental Health Self-Care Funding Programme


Background & Context

The ‘Community Living Well’ service, commissioned by West London CCG (WLCCG), offers a radically different model of care for people with stable long- term mental health needs, aimed at improving people’s mental, physical and social wellbeing.
The model of care was co-produced with a wide range of stakeholders, including people with long-term mental health needs, their carers, voluntary sector workers and clinicians and managers from the NHS and Local Authority.  The model of care is aligned to the North West London Like Minded Strategy for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The service brings together and integrates a range of clinical and wellbeing services into a single core offer that can be readily accessed by service users and carers and by GPs, aligned to a wider network of community-based support, opportunities and activities.

WLCCG has made available one-off funding of £150,000 to fund a range of self-care activities aligned to Community Living Well. A mental health social prescribing stakeholder event was held on 7th November 2017 to gather the views of individuals with mental health needs, carers, community organisations and providers about what a Mental Health Self-Care should look like to be of most benefit.


Purpose of the Mental Health Self-Care Project

Self-care is a key component of the Community Living Well model of care providing a way of extending the range of options available to people who present to primary care with psycho-social problems and, in doing so, supports making the best use of community mental health resources. 
The following outcomes are sought from the Self-Care Project:

  1. Enabling people to take more control of their mental and physical health and wellbeing by strengthening psychosocial, life and coping skills.
  2. Helping reduce social isolation by providing opportunities to build social contact and make new friendships.
  3. Empowering and supporting people to lead full lives as active participants in their communities through increased uptake of community, leisure, education, arts and volunteering opportunities.
  4. Supporting ‘help seeking’ and ‘health seeking’ behavioural change.
  5. Supporting people to have a strong voice through community and CCG structures through encouraging collective action.

The Self-Care Project will operate until 31st March 2019 and will complement the implementation of Community Living Well by expanding the range of self-care support available and providing a preventative element.
The Self-Care Project will be managed by Kensington & Chelsea Social Council (KCSC). Access to services available through the project will be via a single point of access managed by KCSC and through self- referrals.  As funding will be non-recurrent, support will be provided to organisations by KCSC to help deliver sustainable services that continue beyond the lifetime of the project.

Aims and Objectives    

The Self-Care Project will:

  • Provide access to new self-care services or enhance or complement existing services that strengthen psychosocial, life and coping skills, promote self-care at home and in the community.
  • Enable providers to innovate through collaborative approaches, and testing concepts.
  • Build the capacity of the sector through up-scaling activity and facilitating development support to achieve sustainable and long-term strategic management outcomes.

Funded activities should support people with mental health needs and their carers in:

  • Developing and maintaining mental, physical and social resilience.
  • Becoming more empowered to identify their own needs, ask for the support or information they need and get it.
  • Feeling that their voices are being heard about things that affect their lives.
  • Taking more control over their own health.
  • Managing their own wellbeing and looking after themselves.
  • Building their confidence in what they can do themselves to stay well.
  • Trying out new activities and learning new things.
  • Being more connected with people and their community.
  • Having a planned, regular breaks – from carers or people carers are looking after. 
  • Getting access to information about activities.
  • Getting to and taking part in activities.

Referral Pathways
Self-care services will be available to people aged 16 years and over, with stable long-term mental health needs who are supported in primary care and registered with a GP in the WLCCG area. 
It is envisaged that there will be two referral pathways into the pilot. The first, which will comprise the bulk of referrals, will be through either a GP or the Community Living Well service and the second will be self-referrals via the service providers themselves. 
Depending on the type of service, the number of sessions per service user many need to be limited. Any relevant criteria will be agreed with successful applicants.

Types of Services we would like to Fund
We would like to fund as wide a range of services as possible, and are particularly interested in services which involve innovation. If you have an idea for a project that you think is ground breaking and can provide a good case for funding, this fund could be a good place to test your idea. We are also interested in expanding the capacity of activities with evidence of effectiveness where demand exceeds supply. 
Services we would like to fund fall into the following themes; the examples given here are not exhaustive:

  • Developing friendships and support networks, eg, day trips, theatre trips, buddying schemes around going out.
  • Holistic health eg, meditation and mindfulness courses, massage, physical activities and exercise.
  • Personal development eg, life coaching, reading groups, skills development courses.
  • Speaking out and taking control eg, debating groups, assertiveness and confidence training, carers’ advocacy.
  • Giving something back and helping others eg, volunteering opportunities, time banking, co-counselling.
  • One-to-one support.
  • Help in accessing and using activities, eg mother tongue support, improving communications/publicity.

Eligibility Criteria
The following organisations can apply:

  • Charities;
  • Voluntary organisations;
  • Social Enterprises with a legal structure e.g. Community Interest Company.

Organisations must:

  • have written governing documents; 
  • have in place standard policies including Safeguarding and Working with Vulnerable Adults;
  • have audited or independently examined accounts;
  • be a current provider of services to people living in the WLCCG area. 

The service must:

  • be appropriate for mental health users with stable long-term mental health needs; 
  • not already be funded (services that are being expanded must be operating to full capacity under current funding arrangements);
  • have evidence that service users have identified the service as a need or have service users involved in its design.
  • be able to demonstrate that it does not duplicate or compete with an existing service.

Funding Arrangements
Funding will be available for 1 year only and will comprise a mix of grants/block contracts and spot contracts. Successful applications will need to provide an exit strategy.  This may be:
A plan for sustaining the service when funding ceases.
A demonstration that the service works within the timescale
Evidence that a service can contract back to its original size without destabilising.


  • Programme launched – 11th  December 2017 
  • Dead line for Proposals – 9am, 22nd January 2018
  • Panel meeting/successful organisations informed – 31st January 2018
  • Money paid out to organisations end March 2018

Returning the Application
The application form can be downloaded from this link. Please download the file and return the filled in form at the email address below. 

If you have difficulties accessing the form, please contact Giovanni Puttin
For any queries regarding completing the application form, please contact Helen Cylwik

Completed applications should be sent to Sara Murphy (  by 9am on 22nd January 2018.