Grants support innovative mental health solutions

Media releases: 24 November 2020

$200,000 in grants awarded across remote, rural and regional Australia

24 November 2020: Thirteen locally-run organisations in rural Australia are sharing in $200,000 in grants to support mental health initiatives from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).

Funded through FRRR’s In a Good Place program, grants of up to $20,000 have been awarded to support mental health initiatives across five different states in Australia, thanks to support from CCI Giving, the charitable foundation of Catholic Church Insurance (CCI).

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 But with COVID putting a swift halt to many such activities, big meet-ups and concerts have been replaced by online events and small COVID-safe workshops.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 communication 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, CCI General Manager, General Insurance Claims 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.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

The Buttery LimitedJubullum Community Fish Farm and Community GardenSupport mental health outcomes for youth at risk through enabling enterprise to develop a sense of achievement and connection with community. Jubullum$9,437
Crystal Brook Community AssociationRegional Tai Chi Workshop for Crystal BrookImprove 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.Crystal Brook$3,955
District Council of YankalillaFleurieu Coast Community NetworkIncrease help-seeking and community connectedness by developing the Fleurieu Coast Community Network to provide information and co-ordinate events and resources across several townships.Yankalilla$9,000
Live Well TasmaniaThriving Waratah-Wynyard: Engagement for Health and WellbeingReduce mental health stigma and improve mental health by providing a safe and inclusive place for people to participate in a diverse range of activities.    Wynyard$17,412
Brophy Family and Youth Servs IncD-Force – Defend Your FriendsBuild mental resilience in children and youth in South West Victoria to encourage help seeking behaviours and resist illegal drug use.Hamilton$17,371
Entertainment Assist (HPC) LimitedINTERMISSION ONLINE – Remote CommunitiesDeliver ten INTERMISSION online workshops to support the mental health of artists, performers and entertainers living in small rural communities.Ararat$20,000
Holy Rosary School HeathcoteHoly Rosary School HeathcoteImprove the educational outcomes and wellbeing of students in Heathcote through specialised, trauma-informed positive education training for teaching staff.Heathcote$20,000
Birchip Cropping Group IncTomorrow FarmerSupporting mental health and wellbeing of young farmers through a day workshop that will provide communication strategies and skills to enable a preventative approach to manage and maintain positive mental health.Birchip$17,400
Youth Albury Wodonga IncTowong Father & Son ProgramReduce social isolation, increase social connectedness and encourage fathers and sons at risk of experiencing mental health issues, to build stronger relationships.Corryong / Tallangatta$9,440
Mullewa Community Resource Centre IncMelodies, Mates and Mental HealthProvide opportunities to raise awareness of mental health services and how to access them through a series of music events.Mullewa$18,897
Shire of GoomallingMaangart Yorga (Jam Tree Woman)Increase social participation and connection through the provision of culturally appropriate workshops for vulnerable Aboriginal women and girls.Goomalling$19,605
South West Counselling IncBusselton Dunsborough Alliance Against Depression – Providing Free Mental Health Training to the Local CommunityProviding 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.Metricup$17,483
Centacare Family ServicesMen Connect Support GroupSupport 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. Geraldton$20,000