Mental health initiatives in rural communities get a $200,000 boost

Mental health initiatives in rural communities get a $200,000 boost

Fourteen mental health initiatives across remote, rural and regional Australia will share in $204,607 in grants awarded through CCI Giving and FRRR’s In a Good Place (IAGP) program.

These grants will support grassroots, community driven projects that increase social participation, help to reduce social isolation and encourage community members who are at risk of, or are experiencing, mental health issues to seek help. FRRR and CCI Giving are now in the fifth year of their partnership.

This year, the grants range from $8,000 for an initiative that will build the confidence of primary school children in Mount Murchison, QLD to $20,000 for a project that will help various communities in the Northern Territory to better understand what a developing mental health problem or crisis looks like, and respond appropriately.

Jeremy Yipp, CCI Chief Risk Officer of CCI and Chair of CCI Giving, said that the sustained interest in the program is a sign of how essential it is.

“Each year, we receive applications and expressions of interests that really highlight the gap in funding when it comes to flexible grants that are geared towards grassroots mental health programs and services. The goal of this program is to help fill that gap and offer rural communities a say in how their mental health resources are used. After all, they are the people who are being directly impacted,” said Mr Yipp.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said this program is particularly crucial now because of the increase in mental health struggles in rural Australia stemming from pressures of the pandemic and other natural disasters like floods, bushfires and drought.

“The last few years have seen remote, rural and regional communities facing challenges like never before. Often these events occur one after the other - or even at the same time. This has meant that many people in rural communities have been unable to access mental health services or support at a time when they need it most.

“In this round, we were delighted to see an increase in applications from the Northern Territory. Remote communities are often the places with the most limited access to mental health services, so it’s great to be able to help fill that gap. We also saw more requests for funding to support initiatives focused on young people, and again, we are pleased to be able to support several of those projects to help equip them with the skills and strategies to cope with the many challenges they face,” said Ms Egleton.

Some of the 14 initiatives being funded include:

  • Trustee for St Francis Xavier Primary, Lake Cargelligo – Lake Cargelligo, NSW – Earlymind - $9,062 - Develop resilience, a positive mindset and awareness of self by implementing and embedding The Resilience Project School Partnership Program to support the social and emotional health and wellbeing of students and the broader community.
  • Bluearth Foundation - Ltyentye Apurte, NT - Active Leaders Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) - $13,000 - Develop the confidence, resilience and self-awareness of senior students to enable them to create and guide physical activity and wellbeing programs for the primary school students to encourage and promote physical and mental health and wellbeing.
  • Kanyini Connections Ltd – Donaan, QLD - Young Veterans PTSD Program - $20,000 - Support a tailored equine therapy program by providing funds for essential program materials, equipment and consumables to assist 48 young veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who have not responded to other therapy options.
  • Lameroo Forward Inc – Lameroo, SA - Southern Mallee Mental Health Presentations - $10,000 - Grow community understanding of mental health and increase awareness by bringing in a guest speaker to share vital tips and advice at two community presentations.
  • Zoe Support Australia – Mildura, VIC – Mentally Healthy Mothers - $20,000 - Augment the current support for vulnerable young mothers by employing a case manager to provide support wrap around support, connections with community supports and knowledge around mental health for those who are struggling with their mental health.
  • Tradies IN Sight – Dubbo region , NSW The Real Reconnections Tour $10,000 - Support tradies in rural communities to connect and develop trusted relationships that support, empower and encourage gain better understanding of mental health issues and break down stigma around dealing with emotional struggles.

A full list of In a Good Place grant recipients is available on FRRR’s website.


Image: Zoe Support Australia, In a Good Place R6 grantee. Zoe Support Australia received funding for their Mentally Healthy Mothers project to employ a case manager to provide support wrap around support for young mums who are struggling with their mental health.