We’re excited to officially reveal the towns and regions that will continue to work with us on the Our Town mental health funding initiative and a special announcement for one of our selected communities.

Congratulations to the towns of Kimba, Berri, Ceduna, Cummins and a collection of communities in Mid Murray region who have all been shortlisted to continue the journey with us and potentially receive the 10 years funding and support for mental health.

Our special announcement is about the Kangaroo Island community, who were also on our shortlist of six towns and regions. We’ve watched the recent bushfire crisis with shock and disbelief and really wanted to provide meaningful help to this community. We’ve decided to expand Our Town and offer a third 10-year funding and support package directly to Kangaroo Island.

Walking alongside these communities to help build and design approaches to mental health will be The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), Clear Horizon Consulting and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). Across 10 years this will be a collaborative approach where each organisation will play a pivotal role in partnering with communities to surface the valuable lived experience and local knowledge to guide this emergent process.

In the short term 2020 will see our chosen communities receive seed funding and support to create long-term plans to build their capability to improve mental health where they live.

As we prepare to move forward we would like to recognise the other towns and regions that we visited late last year that did not make it through to this stage. We thank them for giving their time so freely and teaching us so much about the mental health challenges of rural and regional South Australia. We are exploring options for these communities to receive funding from other sources.