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Mental health funding to help break down barriers

Resource type: News

South Tipp Today | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

A South Tipperary disability and mental health project has received funding which will enable a number of people to receive special care, suited to their needs.

The grant, from the Genio Trust, will fund a project in St. Luke’s Hospital in Clonmel, helping them to provide for four later life psychiatryy service users with severe and enduring mental health difficulties with some home-based respite care tailored to their individual needs. Twenty two projects will receive almost €2 million funding which will be used to help people move from institutional care to independent living, supported by community-based services. In 2010 grants of almost €3.8m were awarded.

Over 400 people with disabilities and mental health difficulties will benefit from the Trust which has brought together philanthropists and Government in a drive for real and lasting change in the area. This is the result of an innovative project involving the Genio Trust supported by Chuck Feeney’s Atlantic Philanthropies, the Office for Disability and Mental Health (Department of Health), and the HSE. The Genio Trust works with philanthropists and Government to drive social change and ensure efficient use of taxpayers’ money in the interests of those who are socially excluded.

The Trust supports the development of tailored practical plans for individuals who need support to allow them live in their community, then funds this support for a transitional period using money from philanthropists and the State. When the funding ends, the individual will be able to remain living independently with the help of existing community supports and reconfigured resources that have been moved away from institutional care.

Announcing the grants Finbarr Flood, chairperson of the Genio Trust said their mission is to remove the barriers which prevent people from participating fully in society. These barriers can arise from the way in which services are traditionally provided to people with disability, educational disadvantage, poverty, age or other issues.

“Critically our funding goes to projects which work to change, for the better, how services are provided to people who need them. We are maximising cost-effectiveness and avoiding waste, while actually improving outcomes for people being supported.”

The Genio Trust has brought together funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies and the State, and is channelling it only at projects that can demonstrate they will work and are sustainable after an initial investment. Changing the lives of individuals who are given the opportunity to live more independently is part of an overall strategy that will hopefully change the entire model of providing support to marginalised people.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Equality, Disability, Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch TD, said it was reassuring to see the innovative and creative work being undertaken to support more people with disabilities and mental health difficulties to live full lives in the community.

“Many of the projects supported through The Genio Trust are demonstrating ways in which we can re-configure resources, currently tied up in older models of institutional care, to community-based supports, in line with Government policy on mental health.”

Genio works with the public, private and non-profit sectors to stimulate and support real, positive and lasting social change in Ireland. It brings government and philanthropic investment together to improve the everyday lives of people who need support to participate as equals in society. Genio is currently working with the disability and mental health fields and has just started a project to improve services for older people with dementia.

Genio Trust is an Atlantic Grantee.

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