Headstrong initiatives put communities In a Good Place

Headstrong initiatives put communities In a Good Place

Up to $20,000 of In a Good Place grants have been awarded to rural, regional, and remote Australian communities to support mental health and wellbeing, through CCI Giving's Impact Grants Program.

CCI Giving Director Jeremy Yipp is delighted by the reach of the program, acknowledging the important work of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) in driving support for good mental health practices for communities outside of cities.

“Eight projects from this round will share $100,725 worth of grants, funded by CCI Giving which is the charitable foundation of Catholic Church Insurance (CCI). In fact, more than $1 million was requested for grants in this third round and this signals a greater need for mental health interventions across rural, regional and remote Australia.”

Jeremy explains the grants are put to use in ways that are both creative and innovative. Ideas for the use of funds include a safe space to enable mental health conversations at the Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Festival – an area of Queensland deeply impacted by drought and flood. There are creative community workshops as well, and an interactive theatre performance addressing mental ill health and substance abuse in Hopetoun, Western Australia. A series of targeted workshops for adolescent and adult men will focus on improving mental health and help reduce suicide risks in Kimba, South Australia.

Natalie Egleton is the FRRR CEO and she has noticed increasing interest in the program since its launch in July 2018.

“This time I saw an increase in the number of applications using art-based activities as a tool to encourage community engagement around mental health and resilience.”

“Training and skill development, particularly Mental Health First Aid, was also a strong theme,” she said.

“It’s been well-documented that people living in rural, regional and remote Australia don’t have the same access to health services as major metropolitan centres. This includes a lack of early intervention services, and often there are long waiting periods for services in neighbouring communities. These grants will help communities to really take charge and be as self-sufficient as possible when it comes to taking care of their own.”

Jeremy Yipp says the Impact grants are designed to make a significant, scalable difference in the Catholic community and beyond, through a strategic national investment in mental health.

“For CCI Giving to effect real change, we consider longer-term partnerships of up to five years with organisations that are uniquely positioned to overcome social disadvantage in marginalised communities. We’re mindful of communities in rural, regional, and remote areas of Australia especially.”

“We want to support community-driven initiatives that reduce social isolation, increase social participation and connectedness, and increase help-seeking for those living in places where getting access to help is tough going.”

The next round of the In a Good Place program will open in February 2020.

The locally-led projects funded for this round are:

Apostolic Church Australia, as the Operator of a PBI, Bourke, NSW. Building a Stronger You is a program supporting students as they transition from primary school to high school. It helps to build personal, social, and emotional resilience. It promotes positive self-esteem to enable students to fully engage in education.     

Parkes High School P&C. Parkes High Mental Health Awareness Day, Parkes NSW. The initiative provides an inclusive day for high school students to engage with mental health professionals. It encourages positive mental health and supports self-help seeking behaviour for students and their peers.        

Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival Inc., Roma, Longreach, Richmond, Julia Creek, QLD. Have a Yack in the Outback will raise awareness and provide opportunities for conversations about mental health. The program aims to encourage help seeking by creating a dedicated meeting area in a drought and flood impacted region.                

University of South Australia, Kimba, Cleve, Tumby Bay, SA. A mental wellbeing program delivered in partnership with community-based men’s mental health support groups and rural South Australian football clubs/leagues will support a series of targeted workshops for adolescent and adult men. The program will focus on improving mental health and reducing the risk of suicide

Huon Valley Council, Mental Health Community Response, Dover, Cygnet, Huonville, Geeveston, TAS. Mental Health Community Response will build the capacity of the Huon Valley community to respond to and prevent suicide and promote mental health through the delivery of Mental Health First Aid training to community members and groups.       

Beyond the Bell Great South Coast, Hamilton, VIC. Live4Life Southern Grampians builds community capacity to support youth mental health via the establishment of the Live4Life model within Southern Grampians shire.     

Youth Affairs Council Victoria Inc., Swan Hill, Robinvale, VIC. Deadly Yarning & Learning. Our Mental Health supports young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by providing culturally competent Mental Health First Aid training. It also assists in the establishment of a community of practice to ensure the provision of ongoing support.   

Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council, Hopetoun, WA. Raving About Mental Wellness is a program that provides opportunities for conversations around mental health and wellbeing through creative community workshops. It also offers an interactive theatre performance addressing the issues around mental ill health and substance abuse.