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Gloucestershire Business News

TIC+ awarded £57,000 grant to improve mental health of boys in Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire-based charity TIC+ has been awarded a £57,000 grant from Gloucestershire County Council's (GCC) 'Levelling Up Together' scheme to address the gender imbalance in accessing mental health support.

Specifically targeting boys and young men, TIC+ will launch a targeted outreach programme taking mental health provision to some of the most deprived areas of the county.

In 2022, TIC+ (an operating name of the charity Teens in Crisis) identified that 70% of young people accessing its service were female and only 30% male, with girls much more likely to seek help for their mental health than boys.

However, statistically, boys are more likely to harm themselves or, in extreme cases, take their own lives, indicating they are not accessing support when it is needed.

The Levelling Up Together fund, launched by GCC to help organisations deliver initiatives in deprived communities, will allow TIC+ to tackle this gender disparity by launching an exclusive outreach programme and engaging with young males in places they are comfortable.

Carolyn Roulstone, head of fundraising at TIC+ said: "Securing this funding is a huge moment, not only for the charity but for the wellbeing of boys and young men aged 9 - 21 years in Gloucestershire.

"This grant will allow us to level up mental health provision across the disadvantaged areas of the county to prevent deterioration in mental wellbeing and work towards reducing incidents of self-harm and suicidal thoughts amongst young men.

"The TIC+ 'Boys in Mind' project will raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental ill health, ensure young males know about the support that is available from TIC+ and elsewhere, and aims to engage with boys to encourage them to seek help at an early stage to prevent issues becoming embedded in later life."

The Levelling Up Together Fund will be used to recruit a TIC+ outreach & engagement officer who will identify and engage with young males in places where they meet such as schools, community groups and sports clubs.

The funding will facilitate workshops, drop-in sessions and talks to break down the stigma of asking for help and a targeted provision of mental health support for boys and young men.

TIC+ was one of only three organisations to secure funding to implement its levelling up initiative across multiple districts - Barton & Tredworth, Kingsholm & Wotton, Moreland, Podsmead, Tuffley, Westgate and Cinderford.

The total Levelling Up Together Fund launched by Gloucestershire County Council was £1.5 million, with 52 successful applications from a total of 127.

TIC+ have been supporting young people and their families in Gloucestershire since 1993. Last year, almost 4,000 children, young people and families used their free counselling and mental health support services to help them cope.

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