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We're Mind, the mental health charity. We provide advice and support to anyone with a mental health problem. We're continuing to run Friends in Need and to support Depression Alliance's self-help groups. We can offer you advice and support on depression, too.

Side by Side project launches

Side by Side project receives funding to launch ground-breaking pilot into the power of peer support.

Side by Side officially launched this week, as part of a nationwide pilot scheme exploring the benefits of peer support for people with mental health problems. The programme was set up by Mind in partnership with Bipolar UK and Depression Alliance to increase access to peer support across England, evidence its effectiveness, and support its future sustainability. To do this, Side by Side has funded 37 grant projects in nine areas of England. The project is funded through the Big Lottery fund for two years.

The role of Depression Alliance in the Side by Side project will be to use our Friends in Need (FiN) service to grow a network of volunteers to run meet ups and self help groups. One key objective is to build the evidence base for peer support. We will work with an evaluation partner and local commissioning stakeholders to demonstrate the impact of community based peer support across three locations; Kensington & Chelsea; Plymouth and Northamptonshire.

Emer O'Neill, CEO Depression Alliance said: "This is the first time we have been able to evaluate the effectiveness of peer support and we are really happy to be able to work on this National project with Mind and Bipolar UK. For to long we have only been able to rely on anecdotal evidence from our members, who say, having someone to talk to, who also lives with depression is a lifeline."

Anyone interested in finding out more or getting involved with starting a meet up in one of these areas can email

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