EXTRA funding is being made available to increase mental health support in Renfrewshire.

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for adults, which has been used to fund 52 community projects in the region so far, has been awarded a further £15 million.

Engage Renfrewshire has been managing the fund in the area since it was launched in October 2021.

Fund officer Alice McBride said the third sector interface were "thrilled" that the new investment would allow the fund to continue for another year.

She told The Gazette: "This year we distributed just over £550,000 to the charitable sector which went directly to groups and organisations with activities and projects that support positive mental health.

"The funded projects range from Erskine to Lochwinnoch and will be taking place throughout this year, with some activities already underway. 

"This week I attended Brick Lane Academy's Music Café which is a weekly music session, free and open to any member of the community that wishes to come together and share an interest in music."

The group meet at Brick Lane Academy in Paisley every Tuesday at 11am.

Across Scotland, the fund has helped nearly 2,000 community projects to deliver activities and programmes in its first year.

It has supported a wide range of projects including sport, outdoor initiatives, arts and crafts and nature, and covering groups such as older people, those with a long term health conditions or disabilities, people living in rural areas and the LGBT community.

Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said: "The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness, and we know the pandemic has brought this issue into much greater focus. The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund has supported many projects that help to make people feel less isolated.

"The fund was set up to build and develop capacity within community organisations and grass roots groups so they can support people’s mental health and wellbeing. I am pleased that so many projects benefitted in the first year."

The second year of funding will be open to new and previously awarded applicants and is projected to launch in the summer.

For more details, visit engagerenfrewshire.org/contact/.