Up to 10 years of mental health funding and support for SA towns
Applications for Our Town funding closed at the beginning of August. The applications have now been reviewed and shortlisted. The nine shortlisted town teams will have the chance to meet us in person and tell us more about their towns and the mental health challenges they wish to turn around.
From this process, six towns will be chosen for a 6-9-month mentoring and coaching program that will take place next year. The final six towns will be notified of their success and the next steps in December 2019. Read more about Our Town below.
To download a PDF version of the below Our Town timeline with all of the key dates go to the bottom of this page.
The goal of Our Town is to build on the strengths, skills and talents of people in the participating towns to collectively move towards mentally healthy futures. 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.
Initially, six towns will be chosen from the applicants for a 6-12 month program of on-ground and online assistance including mentoring, coaching, communications and other practical support. The chosen towns will have populations of about 10,000 people or less, or clusters of towns with combined populations of about 10,000. We felt that smaller towns might have less resources and opportunities than larger, regional centres.
From this core group, the final two towns will be chosen for up to 10 years of funding support to further their initiatives. These final towns will be selected based on the fact that their work and learnings have the greatest opportunity to demonstrate possibilities that can benefit other South Australian towns.
Our Town is not about flying in a replacement or additional service but activating and strengthening what’s already in communities for the long-term. The foundation is seeking towns that are already mobilised – or partially mobilised – around a mental health challenge but need extra help to bring their initiatives to life. They will demonstrate cross-community collaborations where a number of organisations and groups come together to work on a mental health challenge.
Our Town arose from the findings of the Fay Fuller Foundation commissioned Health Needs and Priorities in South Australia report, which showed that mental health challenges are more prevalent in rural and remote areas. People living in non-metropolitan areas are also less likely to seek help for mental health challenges than those in the metropolitan area. Despite this, the Fay Fuller Foundation believes there are incredible strengths in country towns that can be harnessed to positively impact mental health.