Town and regional partners announced

Our Town is a long-term mental health funding initiative, which will see the Fay Fuller Foundation provide funding and support to South Australian towns and regions for up to 10 years.

The initiative seeks to fund and empower rural and regional communities to build new capabilities to meet the mental health challenges they face into the future

The Fay Fuller Foundation and The Australian Centre for Social Innovation visited all nine towns and regions that were initially shortlisted for funding in late 2019 to learn more about their mental health challenges and bring their applications to life.

The six towns and regions that have been chosen to continue working with the Fay Fuller Foundation are Berri, Ceduna, Cummins, Kangaroo Island, Kimba and the Mid Murray region. During 2020 these communities will receive seed funding and support to develop long-term plans to build mental health capability.

The Fay Fuller Foundation initially planned to choose two communities from the six to each receive a decade of funding and support. However, given the recent catastrophic bushfire events in Kangaroo Island, it was decided that the program would be expanded from two funding and support packages to three and that the third would be provided straight to the island community.

The remaining five towns will have the opportunity to receive the original two 10-year packages of funding and support. Check back in the coming weeks to read more about our chosen towns and regions.

About Our Town

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.

The multi-million dollar funding will see the Fay Fuller Foundation enter into partnerships of up to a decade with SA rural and regional towns. These partnerships will explore and work towards solutions to mental health challenges identified by the towns themselves.

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

Our Town differs from other mental health initiatives as it is not about putting additional services in place or recruiting new mental health professionals. 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.

It is about partnering with communities in a very sustainable way to find solutions that will have a legacy far beyond the program.

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