Young Women’s Mental Health

We set up the Young Women’s Mental Health programme to help improve the mental health of women aged 16-25 in the UK. We’ve committed £5 million in funding over five years (2021-2026). Our grants go to organisations that increase young women’s access to high quality, age and gender specific mental health services.


Each year we have been reviewing the programme and incrementally increasing the geography of the programme. In 2022, your work or project must take place in Northern Ireland or the North East or North West of England to be eligible.

Why young women? Why now?

Recent years have seen a sharp rise in mental ill health among women. Young women are especially vulnerable, with over 25% experiencing mental health problems. Social factors and structural inequalities exacerbate these problems and make it difficult for them to access resources and services.

Those in the 16 to 25 age group experience many life challenges, and most mental health problems reveal themselves before the age of 24. Added to this, the transition from children’s to adult mental health services leaves many young people unable to get help when they need it most.

Our young women’s mental health programme is about finding effective ways to help young women whose mental health needs would otherwise go overlooked.


Types of organisations we support

You need to be an organisation that:

-Directly engages with young women aged 16-25 years old

-Offers age, gender and trauma informed mental health services

-Strives for equality

-Is embedded within the community and offers culturally and community sensitive services

-Is willing to form a cohort with other grantees throughout the 3-year grant period. This gives you the chance to explore best practice and advocate for wider change.

-Works or runs your project in Northern Ireland or the North East or North West* of England to be eligible.

*Counties: Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. County Durham, Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and part of North Yorkshire (Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland).

Further details can be found in our Funding Guidelines.


Our theory of change

Our aim is to improve the mental health of young women both through our grants programme and through policy investment. In addition to grants, we expect to make a number of strategic interventions to support the sector and to advocate for good practice and systemic change – these might include research, mapping, collaborations and networks. You can find out more about our theory of change here.


How to apply

We have a two-stage process for applications. Grants of £60,000 to £90,000 spread across three years are available.

Please read our funding guidelines to check your eligibility.

Stage 1: Book a telephone conversation with our Grants Manager to talk through your proposal and answer any questions you might have.

Book a conversation by filling in this form. The form opens on 1 June and closes on 29 July.

You cannot apply before having this conversation. After the conversation, you will get an immediate decision on whether your project is eligible to go to the next stage.

Stage 2: We will send you an application form and this is where you set out your proposal in full. All stage two applications are made on our online grants system, Flexigrant.

You can look at our application form for reference here.


If you are interested in applying but would like to learn more…

Sign up to our Meet the Funder online event on Thursday 8 June at 11am UK time. Hear from Grants Manager, Sonja, and Director, Sue all about the programme, our work and examples of previously successful grants.


Timeline for 2022