In support of strong rural communities

In support of strong rural communities

In a Good Place program has provided seven projects working for good mental health practices in rural, regional and remote communities with grants from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and CCI Giving . This allows $99,275 to be shared among recipients.

"Mental ill-health doesn't discriminate based on whether you live in a rural or metropolitan area,” says FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton.

“The difference is that those who live in rural areas often struggle when it comes to finding the help they need; at the time they need it. This could be due to geographic location, a lack of resources or access to mental health services, cultural barriers or stigma.”

People living in remote areas shouldn’t feel isolated when it comes to accessing care for their mental wellbeing, especially at a time when many areas outside of metropolitan cities have been hit hard by weather damage to their livelihood.

"Through our programs, we've seen increased requests for support around mental health across the country. This isn't surprising given the compounding impacts of the long-running drought, floods or cyclones, as well as economic factors, which can lead to increased stress and social isolation.

"These factors also mean that usual community fundraising options to support local initiatives are simply not available, making programs like In a Good Place increasingly important."

Ms Egleton says that the projects funded support community-based, non-clinical, and accessible mental health information and support; including indirect education via community events, and proactive resilience programs in schools and the wider community.

One project has received funds for a series of community activities to bring community members together. It aims to reduce social isolation, build stronger interpersonal connections, and create awareness of good mental health practices. The recipients want people to recognise that it is 'okay not to be okay' and will provide information about where to access help when required.

CCI’s Roberto Scenna is inspired by communities responding to mental health challenges in ways that suit them best.

"The funded projects might be for information sharing, skills and capacity building but it's these non-clinical approaches to mental health care that can assist people at their most vulnerable," he explains.

The next round of the In a Good Place program will open in early July, with new dates for the next round of applications for grants being announced soon.

The locally-led projects funded in this round of the In a Good Place program are:

  • Blue Mountains Women's Health & Resource Centre Inc., NSW. $2,970. The Creative Connections Project will build the resilience of female students experiencing depression and anxiety through participation in an eight-week resilience program using art and cognitive based therapies.
  • Clarke Creek State School P&C Association, Qld. $10,000. The Clarke Creek Chaplaincy Project will support additional Chaplaincy services to assist students and families across three communities to continue to recover from the damage from Tropical Cyclone Debbie, flash-flooding, and ongoing drought conditions.
  • Moranbah Primary P&C Association, Qld. $15,000. This project will support students at risk across three Moranbah State schools. It will build the capacity to support Chaplaincy services to assist students, families and staff to access social, emotional, educational and spiritual support within the school environment.
  • Operation Flinders Foundation Inc, SA. $20,000. Exercise 5SA19 - Mannum Community College Team will build the capacity of the Mannum community to support local at-risk youth students to participate in a remote outback intervention program, then support their re-engagement with the local community on their return.
  • Mallacoota Community Health, Infrastructure and Resilience Fund Inc (CHIRF), Bega, Eden, Merimbula, Narooma, NSW and Mallacoota, VIC. $20,000. Building the evidence base – Effectiveness of Teen Clinics Project will develop an affordable and appropriate community-led evaluation model to investigate the effectiveness of the Teen Clinic model in addressing the health and wellbeing needs of young people living in small rural towns.
  • Robinvale Network House Inc. VIC. $11,553. The Be SAFE Project will increase awareness of good mental health and reduce stigma through a free community forum featuring a high-profile speaker and local services.
  • Westonia Community Resource Centre Inc. WA. $19,752. The United we care – United we conquer Project will strengthen community resilience and increase social connectedness through a series of community activities, culminating in a whole-of-community celebratory event.