Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund (CMHRF) launched

Posted on 1 May 2020 (Permalink)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, demand for mental health services is increasing. To help voluntary and community sector (VCS) mental health organisations based in England continue to provide mental health services – or provide additional support – organisations can apply for a Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund (CMHRF) grant.

Thanks to £5m support from government (the Department of Health and Social Care), grants of £20,000 or £50,000 are available for projects lasting up to 12 months.

Support for smaller organisations or groups As part of this funding programme, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) will be administering a fund to support user-led organisations and smaller, unconstituted community organisations, who might not otherwise be eligible for a grant. Details will be available from Monday 20 April on the NSUN website.

About the application process

  • Applicants are invited to apply at any time.
  • It’s a fast track assessment process so applications will be assessed every two weeks and applicants will be informed of the outcome within a month of applying.
  • Applications should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.

The fund will remain open for mental health voluntary sector organisations for as long as funds remain.

Find out more at

Commenting on the new Fund, Kathy Roberts, CEO of Association of Mental Health Providers, said:

VCSE mental health provider organisations have seen an unprecedented rise in the need for some services, especially telephone and online support services, as a result of the pandemic and the consequent lockdown and although services are stretched and struggling, the sector remains committed to supporting users of their services during this time.

“Across our membership, and indeed the UK, voluntary and community organisations are already taking action to the pressing needs of the communities they serve and come from. The VCSE sector has continued to demonstrate that it will do whatever it can to provide support and it is evident that organisations from the largest to the smallest are continuing to provide services as best they can and respond to the needs and operating challenges presented by the crisis.

“This is a challenging time for the whole nation and consequently, it is having a detrimental effect on our mental health and wellbeing, with those with pre-existing conditions severely affected. The VCSE mental health sector continues to face many challenges in delivering services during COVID-19 and it is vital that service providers working in the community are supported to enable them to continue delivering essential, life-saving services to vulnerable people who need it most.

“The £5m grant made available by the Department of Health and Social Care for the voluntary and community sector will provide much needed support to services and allow providers to respond to the needs of people who need it the most in these anxious and unsettling times. We look forward to working with our mental health sector partners to continue to support the VCSE sector, and most importantly, those who rely on these services in the community.”

Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, said:

“We’re yet to fully understand the long-term impact that coronavirus will have on our mental health. But right now, many of us are struggling to cope through the lockdown period in isolation or without access those things that help them stay well. For anyone with a longstanding mental health problem this impact is unimaginable.

“We’re really pleased that Government has recognised the vital role that voluntary sector mental health organisations have in working alongside NHS colleagues in the fight against coronavirus. And we’re delighted to be working in partnership with other leading mental health organisations in England to ensure that this government money quickly reaches those organisations who urgently need it.”