Key Identified Objectives

Mental Health

When identifying two key priorities to focus on, the issue of Mental Health in the county was selected as a unanimous one for the Foundation. Our Vital Signs report, in which we commissioned the University of Bedfordshire to carry out a Needs Analysis across the county, revealed that residents felt that this was an area which was of utmost importance to them.

There are an estimated 660 males and 360 females aged 5-10 years with a mental health problem in Bedford Borough and 815 males and 550 females aged 11-15. The adult population of 20-64 year olds in Bedford Borough totalled 98,110 (59.4%) and those aged 65 and over numbered 26,559 (16.0%) at the end of 2012/13. Approximately 16,000 residents have a common mental health disorder (anxiety, depression, obsessional compulsive disorder) and 7,000 have two or more mental health disorders.


It is estimated that 1 in 10 young people in Luton are likely to have a diagnosable mental ill-health condition (LBC, 2015). This means that around 1,100 young people in Luton secondary schools may require an intervention to support a level of psychological and psychiatric need above the level that they receive as part of general health and wellbeing.

In Central Bedfordshire, about 51.8% of adults receiving social care are moderately or extremely anxious or depressed; and 8.2% feel extremely anxious or depressed. The incidence of all groups of mental illness is expected to rise. Our Stories

The Butterfly Project provides therapeutic support to survivors of domestic abuse, through a range of creative activities such and art making and singing. They also offer women one to one art therapy and the general public expressive art sessions. They were awarded a grant to run a series of art-based therapy sessions to support vulnerable women presenting in a range of ways from mental illness, trauma, loss and those who have experienced domestic abuse.