Comic Relief: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW: Comic Relief focuses its mental health grantmaking on combating stigma and access to high quality evidence based support for those with mental illness.

IP TAKE: Grantseekers should take note that this is a living wage friendly funder and suggests that grantseekers increase their budgetary allowances to account for the annual increase in the living wage.

PROFILE: In 1985, Richard Curtis, Jane Tewson and a group of friends decided to use comedy to raise money for vulnerable populations in Africa and the UK. On Christmas day that year, the group launched Comic Relief live on the BBC from the Safawa refugee camp in Sudan. Soon came the creation of Red Nose Day, which raises millions of dollars each year toward the organization’s goal of “[a] just world, free from poverty.” Comic Relief’s grantmaking priorities include helping children survive and thrive, supporting new approaches to mental health, gender justice and creating safe places to live for the most vulnerable populations.

In the mental health funding landscape, the foundation focuses on combating stigma often associated with mental illness and low-cost models of care within local communities such as low-cost interventions and self-help groups. Comic Relief also supports organizations strengthening community systems that help integrate mental health care into overall healthcare systems.

Comic Relief grant amounts often range from £100,000 to £500,000. The foundation recently launched Community Mental Health Matters, making grants to community based mental health organizations in Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. It also supported suicide respite centers across the U.K. To learn more about select grantees, download Comic Relief’s latest annual report.

Comic Relief accepts unsolicited grant applications and requests for funding.

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