Our Town will involve partnering with South Australian towns and empowering them to tackle their specific mental health challenges.

The new funding, to commence in June 2019, will see the Fay Fuller Foundation enter into funding partnerships of up to a decade with SA rural and regional towns on mental health challenges identified by the towns themselves.

The goal of Our Town is to build on the strengths, skills and talents of people in the participating towns to collectively tackle their important mental health challenge.

The foundation is seeking towns that are already mobilised or partially mobilised around an issue but need extra help to bring their initiatives to life. Our Town is not about flying in a replacement or additional service but activating what’s already in communities for the long-term.

Our Town is open to towns state-wide and initially 6 towns will be chosen for a 6-12 month program of on-ground assistance including mentoring, coaching, communications and other practical support. From this core group, 2 towns will be chosen for up to 10 years of funding support to further their initiatives. These final 2 towns will be chosen 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 arose from the findings of the Fay Fuller Foundation commissioned Health Needs and Priorities in South Australia report, which showed that challenges related to mental health 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.

The approach for Our Town differs from other place-based work through:

  • A commitment to being in communities beyond any state or federal election cycle.
  • Giving communities the opportunity to self-identify rather than have an approach imposed on them
  • Allowing local people to articulate and define their mental health challenge as it is for them, rather than fit into a pre-defined list of expected issues.

Applications for Our Town will open on 26 June 2019. A link to the application form will be posted here.

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