New Partnership to Support Mental Health in Rural Australian Communities
28 May 2018 at 4:41 pm
A new partnership between two prominent foundations will look to support mental health in rural, regional and remote Australian communities.
CCI Giving and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) announced they had entered into a five-year partnership last Wednesday.
The primary focus will be a FRRR-managed grants program, to support community-driven initiatives that reduce social isolation and increase social participation, while also helping people within rural, regional and remote communities to seek help when experiencing mental health concerns.
FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton, said CCI Giving and FRRR shared a belief in the value and importance of Australia’s rural, regional and remote communities and were committed to strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of people residing in them.
“Despite the many positive aspects of living in rural Australia, there are distinct challenges associated with distance that place people living in these locations at greater risk of poor mental health,” Egleton said.
Roberto Scenna, CEO of Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) and director of CCI Giving, said the aim of this partnership was to help reduce the stigma often associated with mental health, especially in rural and remote communities.
“CCI Giving is committed to walking alongside communities for the longer term by supporting projects that remove barriers to people getting appropriate support,” Scenna said.
“Locals know what works best for them, so this program will support non-clinical approaches that are community-based and accessible at a grassroots level in a range of settings.”
FRRR’s In a Good Place grants program will open for applications from the community sector on 9 July 2018.
Egleton said this showed FRRR’s commitment to strengthen mental health in rural and remote communities.
“Maintaining good mental health is a multi-faceted and lifelong process, requiring a range of approaches,” she said.
“This partnership and the In a Good Place grants program will support local solutions focussed on enhancing people’s mental health.”
This partnership comes after Mental Health Australia said earlier this year that there was a “crisis” in mental health service access in rural Australia, with rural and remote Australians accessing mental health services at a much lower rate than those in metropolitan areas.