Grants support innovative mental health solutions

Grants support innovative mental health solutions

Thirteen locally-run organisations in rural Australia have received $200,000 in grants to support mental health initiatives through the In a Good Place (IAGP) program, the grants program, funded by CCI Giving in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).

Grants of up to $20,000 have been awarded to support mental health initiatives across five different states in Australia.

Nearly $1 million in grant funding was requested in this fourth round of the In a Good Place program, emphasising a great need for mental health support and resources across these rural and regional communities.

The impact of COVID-19 restrictions became an additional stressor to communities already trying to cope with the impact of last summer’s bushfires and/or flooding, which has meant many organisations have needed to adapt quickly. Many community groups and not-for-profit organisations in rural Australia have long relied on community events and face-to-face activities to get them through tough times. But with COVID putting a swift halt to many such activities, big meet-ups and concerts have been replaced by online events and small COVID-safe workshops.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that many rural communities have limited access to the resources and support they need to manage their mental health and wellbeing.

“This year has had tremendous impact on the mental wellbeing of people in remote, rural and regional Australia, which is reflected in the number of applications we received. It is clear that rural communities recognise the need for early intervention and social connection in their communities – and finding new ways to do that despite living with a pandemic.

“It’s very encouraging to see so many community groups bringing forward excellent solutions and projects that will help create new opportunities for personal growth, increase access to care and improve social connectedness in these regions,” said Ms Egleton.

Each organisation awarded a grant has taken their own approach to improving the mental health of people in their community, through tailored projects designed to meet the specific needs in their region.

These projects include:

  • Culturally appropriate workshops for Aboriginal women and girls in Western Australia;
  • Promoting social inclusion via a youth fish farm and community garden in New South Wales;
  • A workshop to help young farmers to develop communications strategies and skills in Victoria;
  • Building a Community Network in South Australia; and
  • A safe and inclusive community space for locals in Tasmania.

Jeremy Yipp, General Manager General Insurance at CCI and Chair of CCI Giving, said the In A Good Place program provides vital support for communities across rural Australia.

“Managing our mental health is just as important as our physical health – and there is nothing more empowering than accessing the tools you need to take control of your own health. After a tougher-than-usual year, we are very pleased to be able to support some of these locally-run mental health initiatives that work to improve community health and wellbeing.”

The next round of In A Good Place grants will open mid-2021.

A full list of grant recipients is available below, and on FRRR’s website.


Round 4 Grant Recipients: 

The Buttery Limited - Jubullum Community Fish Farm and Community Garden (Jabullum, NSW)
Support mental health outcomes for youth at risk through enabling enterprise to develop a sense of achievement and connection with community

Crystal Brook Community Association - Regional Tai Chi Workshop for Crystal Brook (Crystal Brook, SA)
Improve community health and wellbeing with access to a quality Tai Chi instruction full day workshop for Tai Chi practitioners to improve knowledge and skills to inspire participants, and introduce other people to Tai Chi.

District Council of Yankalilla - Fleurieu Coast Community Network (Yankalilla, SA)
Increase help-seeking and community connectedness by developing the Fleurieu Coast Community Network to provide information and co-ordinate events and resources across several townships.

Live Well Tasmania - Thriving Waratah-Wynyard: Engagement for Health and Wellbeing (Wynyard, TAS)
Reduce mental health stigma and improve mental health by providing a safe and inclusive place for people to participate in a diverse range of activities.

Brophy Family and Youth Servs Inc - D-Force - Defend Your Friends (Hamilton, VIC)
Build mental resilience in children and youth in South West Victoria to encourage help seeking behaviours and resist illegal drug use.

Entertainment Assist (HPC) Limited - INTERMISSION ONLINE - Remote Communities (Ararat, VIC)
Deliver ten INTERMISSION online workshops to support the mental health of artists, performers and entertainers living in small rural communities.

Holy Rosary School Heathcote (Heathcote, VIC)
Improve the educational outcomes and wellbeing of students in Heathcote through specialized, trauma-informed positive education training for teaching staff.

Birchip Cropping Group Inc. - Tomorrow Farmer (Birchip, VIC)
Supporting mental health and wellbeing of young farmers through a day workshop that will provide communications strategies and skills to enable a preventative approach to manage and maintain positive mental health

Youth Albury Wodonga Inc. - Towong Father & Son Program (Corryong / Tallangatta, VIC)
Reduce social isolation, increase social connectedness and encourage fathers and sons at risk of experiencing mental health issues, to build stronger relationships.

Mullewa Community Resource Centre Inc - Melodies, Mates and Mental Health (Mullewa, WA)
Provide opportunities to raise awareness of mental health services and how to access them through a series of music events.

Shire of Goomalling - Maangart Yorga (Jam Tree Woman) (Goomalling, WA)
Increase social participation and connection through the provision of culturally appropriate workshops for vulnerable Aboriginal women and girls.

South West Counselling Inc - Busselton Dunsborough Alliance Against Depression - Providing Free Mental Health Training to the Local Community (Metricup, WA)
Providing mental health first aid training and suicide awareness training to local rural communities in Western Australia to improve mental health literacy and reduce stigma surrounding mental health challenges.

Centacare Family Services - Men Connect Support Group (Geraldton, WA)
Support men in regional WA with a program to provide education and connection to address mental health related issues and access to professional support without stigma.