Make a difference for mental health awareness this May

May 18, 2020
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The World Health Organization estimates that one in four people in the world will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives – and that two thirds of them will never seek help from a mental health professional.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. With the stress and uncertainty of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic taking a toll on our mental resources, it couldn’t be timelier.

This month we’re highlighting five charities on GivenGain that work, variously, to expand access to mental healthcare, assist people living with mental health issues, and dismantle the stigma that surrounds them. We hope you’ll choose to support one of them – as well as one another.

Friends of Isiqalo UK – United Kingdom

Friends of Isiqalo is a British charity set up to support the Isiqalo Foundation in South Africa. This foundation aims to bring child-friendly mental health services to the country’s impoverished townships, where such services are difficult to access and their users often stigmatised. As well as counselling and mentoring, Isiqalo also runs surf therapy programmes through its Waves for Change programme.

A Lust for Life – Ireland

A Lust for Life began when one man, Niall ‘Bressie’ Breslin, began documenting his own mental health struggles online. Niall quickly discovered that sharing his story helped, and in 2015 set up an online community for others to do the same – while receiving expert help from mental health professionals. Since then, A Lust for Life has grown into an award-winning nationwide organisation that builds communities, helps to guide government policy, and partners with the media to raise mental health awareness. In 2019 it also began to roll out the Schools Wellbeing Programme, bringing accessible mental health education to schoolchildren.

Canadian Mental Health Association – Canada

The Canadian Mental Health Association is a leading provider of mental health services in Canada. CMHA offers more than 20 different mental health and addiction treatment programmes and hosts workshops, trains peer support volunteers and publishes free resources online. Recently, CMHA’s BounceBack programme has also shared tips for people struggling with anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – USA

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States – and the third among young people aged 15 to 24. On average, 129 Americans die by suicide each day. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention works to reduce those numbers by raising awareness of mental health and suicide and by funding mental health research. The charity also connects people with crisis lines, support groups and mental health services – whether they are in need of help themselves or have lost a loved one to suicide.

Cape Mental Health – South Africa

Cape Mental Health has been providing mental health services in the Cape Town area for more than a century! The charity first opened its doors in 1913. Today, Cape Mental Health provides community-based services for people with mental health challenges and intellectual disabilities. These include special educational programmes, counselling and support. It also works to educate the public and reduce stigma and discrimination.

Why not join the fight for better access to mental healthcare around the world? Make a donation today or start a fundraising project on GivenGain. Real-world fundraising events may not be going ahead at the moment, but you can still make a difference from home.

Do you have a favourite mental health charity that isn’t on GivenGain yet? Please ask them to get in touch with us at We know that times are hard for non-profits at the moment and we’re determined to help. Online fundraising gives charities a way to continue raising money even when events are cancelled – and to continue delivering vital services to those most in need.