Ulster University Awarded £1.9 Million

UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) announced the launch of ‘The Mobilising Community Assets to Reduce Health Inequalities Programme’ – groundbreaking initiatives aimed at tackling health disparities and holistic well-being across communities in the UK through promoting access to culture, nature, and community.

This announcement represents the third phase of the programme led by the Arts & Humanities Research Council in collaboration with BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, and NERC, all part of UKRI. It seeks to tackle entrenched and long-standing health inequalities in Britain’s poorest communities by exploring how health systems can collaborate more effectively with communities.

Ulster University Professor Gerard Leavey, School of Psychology and Director of The Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing is the lead investigator in the project which has been awarded £1.9 million in funding, CHOICE (Challenging Health Outcomes/Integrating Care Environments) focused on addressing health disparities faced by individuals living with severe mental illness.

Professor Leavey’s project will aim to empower individuals with severe mental illness to overcome barriers and achieve improved physical and mental well-being by establishing a new model of collaboration for different groups to work together at a community level. The new model will aim to provide sustained support to those suffering and give them access to diverse resources such as arts, leisure, and sports.

Over the next three years, the CHOICE project will continue to work in partnership with our previously established community coalition comprising a wide range of statutory and voluntary sector agencies, and experts by experience.

Ulster University Community Advisory Board includes MindWise, Inspire Wellbeing, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Public Health Agency, Queens University Belfast, Action Mental Health, North West Community Network, Developing Healthy Communities, the MAC, Cause Carers, Praxis Care and Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action.

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