Regional mental health projects get grant support

Two not-for-profits have teamed up to offer grants of up to $20,000 to support projects that improve mental health in rural, regional and remote communities.

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and the Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) are now inviting applications to the ‘In a Good Place’ grants which will distribute $100,000 to worthy projects this round.

Priority will be given to initiatives that:

  • Improve accessibility and availability of mental health services, tools or support to areas with limited or no access to the same;
  • Provide innovative responses that are inclusive, building social connections that lead to better mental health;
  • Confront stigma surrounding help-seeking behaviour;
  • Are delivered via non-clinical first providers of mental health care, such as school counsellors and teachers, members of the clergy or pastoral care teams, neighbourhood or community groups, or via technological or other innovative methods.

The program offers grants for community-driven initiatives that reduce social isolation, increase social participation and connectedness, and increase help-seeking for people within rural, regional and remote communities who are at risk of, or are experiencing mental health issues.

Roberto Scenna, CEO of CCI and Director of CCI Giving, said that the program's opening is timely, especially as the worsening drought and other challenges take a toll on the land and the communities that call it home.

“It’s imperative that people work together to support one another, and these grants can be a way to develop stronger, more resilient communities by implementing local solutions to local issues,” Mr Scenna said.

“CCI Giving is proud to be facilitating assistance like this via FRRR.”

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton said that mental health support is always in high demand.

“Many people living in rural and regional Australia can put on a good front, even when they are doing it tough,” said Ms Egleton.

“Even those that do recognise they need help often can't readily access the right resources when it comes to their mental health.

“That's why grants from ‘In A Good Place’ are so important.

“They can help ensure access to the right resources and services, when people need it, and without them having to leave their support-networks.”

The inaugural 2018 round of the In a Good Place program supported 14 groups to instigate place-based responses to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their community members.

This included approaches as diverse as local counselling and response training; increasing the resilience and coping skills of young people; performance-based, youth-led responses; connecting and supporting isolated members of the community; holding community healing events following significant local trauma; and community events to build resilience and connectedness across members of all ages.

In 2019, applications are invited from organisations delivering inclusive, responsive and local solutions that will enhance people’s mental health and build social connections.

Applications open on 7 February 2019, and close 14 March 2019. Further information on the guidelines are available on the In a Good Place web page.

FRRR expects this will be a highly competitive program and strongly recommends potential applicants contact FRRR to discuss the suitability of their project before applying.

The program is funded by CCI Giving, the charitable foundation of Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) and administered by FRRR.