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Mental health grants to support mental health initiatives in rural Australia

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13 locally-run organisations in rural Australia will receive a total of $200,000 in grants to support mental health initiatives from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR). 

FRRR’s In a Good Place program, will award grants of up to $20,000 have been awarded to support mental health initiatives across five different states in Australia, in part due 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 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 flooding. This meant many organisations needed to adapt quickly.  

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ny community groups and not-for-profits in rural Australia have long relied on community events and face-to-face activities to get them through tough times. However, with COVID putting a swift halt to many such activities, big meet-ups and concerts have been replaced by online events and small COVID-safe workshops.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,” Egleton said.  

“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,” she said.  

Each recepient 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. 

Meanwhile, Jeremy Yipp, 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, Yipp said.  

The next round of In A Good Place grants will open mid-2021. 

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