Community Grants Supporting Mental Health In Drought Areas

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Kristian Bel – Getty Images
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Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) recently launched the Murrumbidgee Community Grants for activities to support communities living with the impacts of drought with a focus on mental health and wellbeing.

The grants have been made possible with funding from the Australian Government’s ‘Empowering Communities’ initiative allowing local communities to tailor mental health responses to their own needs.

MPHN CEO said the Murrumbidgee Community Grants have been developed in consultation with a recently formed Empowering Communities Steering Committee and keeping the application process simple and easy has been key.

“There will be three levels of funding available which could be used to support wellbeing and mental health in our communities. It could be as simple as a community barbecue to connect people, a regular activity like exercise or yoga classes, or community education or workshops around managing stress or anxiety. Businesses might also consider upskilling their workforce on topics like mental health first aid, or look to implement some form evidence-based training to help identify warning signs around mental health and suicide,” said Ms Neal.

Empowering Communities Steering Committee member and volunteer community mental health advocate from Stockinbingal, John Harper, said the heart of grants is about supporting a whole of community approach to mental health and suicide prevention.

“It really is part of a holistic strategy for addressing mental health in our local communities who are feeling the impacts of drought and I would expect activities receiving grants will help build and strengthen relationships within communities as well,” said Mr Harper.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, call the Mental Health Line 1800 011 511, Lifeline 13 11 14 or call 000. Or to access the Head to Health website visit www.headtohealth.gov.au.

For more information about the Murrumbidgee Community Grants visit www.mphn.org.au or follow the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network on Facebook or Twitter.

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