Our Town is a different way of funding as it’s not about providing short-term resources to one organisation but testing broader community approaches to tackling mental health challenges.

Our new funding – unveiled in late June – aims to help South Australian towns to tackle their specific mental health challenges. Ultimately, two SA towns will receive funding and support for up to a decade. This long-term approach is also quite unique in funding circles.

Our Town differs from other funding initiatives which might offer a package of funds to a single organisation – such as the local council or health service – to roll out a program. In such cases once the bucket of money is used, the program probably ends too.

With Our Town we’re looking to build grassroots collaborations where various organisations in a community could receive portions of the funding over a longer term. We want to work with communities to build on the skills, talent and connections that are already available. The hope is that these community collaborations can be sustainable beyond our term of support.

Our Town is not based on any existing framework or approach and we’re looking to test and demonstrate how the strengths of rural and regional South Australia can turn the tide of a mental health challenge if they are given this type of support. We know that towns already have the answers and we want to help activate these communities towards the changes they want to see.

What this support will actually look like will be determined when we get out into the chosen towns as local communities will co-design their mental health solutions.

Our Town is open to towns with a population of approximately 10,000 people or less or clusters of towns with a combined population of about 10,000. To be eligible towns must also be situated in the Country SA Primary Health Network.

If you live in or know of a community that would be eligible and would have a need for Our Town funding go to the Fay Fuller Foundation website to find out more and apply. Applications close on Monday 5 August at 5pm ACST.