Applications are open for up to 10 years of mental health funding and support for towns in rural and regional South Australia.

Our new, multi-million dollar funding initiative – Our Town – will see us partner with SA towns for up to a decade to tackle their mental health challenges.

Our Town funding is for towns with populations of approximately 10,000 people or less, or clusters of towns with combined populations of less than 10,000 people.

Initially, six towns will be chosen for 6-12 months of mentoring and support to further explore their issues and look at possible solutions to make the changes they hope to see.

From the shortlisted six towns, two towns will be selected for 10 years of large-scale funding support and assistance.

The actual amount of funding will depend on what the towns decide to do, however, the final two towns could receive several million dollars each in funding over the 10 years.

This funding differs from other approaches as it is not bound by an election cycle and the individual towns involved will identify the mental health challenges they wish to address.

We are also not flying in with our own solutions as we want towns to tell us what mental health means for them and the changes they want to see.

Our Town funding is not to simply replace or expand services but it’s about building the capability within communities – or skills, processes and structures – to enable them to work towards long-term and sustainable change.

We believe that towns have all the answers, we will just be helping them to build on what is already there and maybe uncover some hidden talents.

The idea for Our Town came from a research report we commissioned which showed how major the issue of mental health is in regional SA. We have chosen smaller rural and regional towns as we felt that they may not have the resources or influence to attract the funding required to make significant change.

Read more about Our Town funding, the guidelines for applications and find the online application form. Applications for Our Town close at 5pm ACST on 5 August, 2019.