The Big Lottery Fund has announced major funding for projects set to revolutionise services for children and families at risk of breakdown.

Charities working with families and young people are to help shape new ways to prevent family breakdown thanks to £5.9 million of lottery funding.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Early Action System Change cash is being shared between eight initiatives that will bring together voluntary and public sector organisations to redesign and re-organise their services.

Children and young people in Midlothian will be able to help shape the future of local mental health services thanks to a grant of £836,000 to a multi-agency partnership project led by Midlothian Council.

Over the next five years, the project aims to overhaul child and youth mental health services so children and young people get help much earlier. This will include involving young people in the research and mapping of mental health and wellbeing support in the local area, and identifying trigger points for mental health problems.

It will also test out and learn from preventative interventions, which if they become mainstreamed would alleviate pressure on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Mary Smith, director of education, communities and economy at Midlothian Council, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in securing funding for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing from the Big Lottery Fund. Midlothian’s young people have been campaigning for this so it’s great that local partners and the Big Lottery Fund have listened.

“The funding will allow us and our partners, NHS Lothian, Midlothian Youth Platform and third sector colleagues to map, review and test new and existing systems available to children, young people and their families, ensuring we are well placed to strengthen children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing now and in the future.”

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