Our newest funding – Our Town – is a two-phased approach to rural and regional mental health funding.

Six towns will initially be shortlisted for stage one of Our Town, which will be a nine month mentoring and coaching process. We are calling this capability building and it will be about building and strengthening the knowledge, processes, skills and other tools that will help towns to make long-term changes in mental health.

The six towns will have the chance to deeply explore their identified mental health challenges with skilled facilitators who will be able to bring an outside perspective and international examples of the ways that similar issues have been tackled.

It’s essentially about building a bridge between the funding and expertise we have on offer and the changes South Australian towns aspire to in mental health.

We know that towns have many of the answers already so this process will be about tapping into the knowledge and talents that are already there, building on those and looking for any gaps.

Key issues that will likely be considered and explored in each town during phase one include:

  • Mobilising a town vision for mental health
  • Determining what a town is wanting and needing in terms of mental health
  • Equipping people with skills in mental health first aid and a greater understanding of mental health in rural and regional Australia
  • Recognising the importance of lived experience of mental health
  • Looking at a town’s decision-making processes and possible improvements

How these discussions will look will depend on the individual towns that are involved as the communities will have differing levels of existing knowledge and skills.

Small grant support will be provided to the six towns during the process for resources and activities, examples could include hall and facility hire, transport provision and catering.

The first phase of Our Town will lay the foundations for phase two, which will see two towns receive up to a decade of funding and support to tackle their mental health challenges.

Applications have already started to arrive for our unique, multi-million dollar mental health funding initiative. The final two towns will be announced in 2020.

Check out the Our Town page on our website further information and details on how to apply.