Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury has announced the recipients of the COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Innovation Grants Program – a $400,000 investment supporting selected organisations, local communities and individuals to develop innovative and creative projects that address the mental health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19.
The Program sees 20 grants awarded under two streams. A total of $305,181 was allocated under the Organisational Grants stream and $100, 800 for the Community Grants stream – a part of the recent $4.5 million mental health stimulus package announced by the ACT Government.
“We were looking for initiatives that aim to build resilience, protect and promote wellbeing and create connections in the community,” Minister Rattenbury said today.
“From ‘mental health first aid’ for young community group leaders, expressionist theatre for seniors, wellbeing talks and workshops for culturally diverse groups, and respite for palliative care givers – there’s something that every member of the Canberra community can get involved in.
“Even with low confirmed COVID-19 case numbers in the ACT to date, COVID-19 has hit our community particularly hard. It has created significant challenges for how we look after our mental health and wellbeing-how we can interact with our friends, our family and other people we love and care about.
“A total of $50,000 was originally allocated for the Community Grants Stream, however due to the incredible number of applications received by Canberrans, a formal decision was made to allocate an extra $50,000 to the Community Grants stream. This allowed for an additional seven ideas to be funded.
“When we prioritise mental health in all areas of our lives and the life of our community, we open ourselves to helping each other in really meaningful ways – irrespective of background or circumstance. Today’s grant recipients demonstrate the caring nature of Canberrans, and that wellbeing support doesn’t need to come only from clinical mental health organisations and services.”
Dr Elizabeth Moore, Coordinator-General Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing explained that the grants program was a chance for community organisations, groups and individuals to propose new, innovative and creative initiatives to address the mental health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19.
“We were looking for applications that proposed creative ways to support people most at risk of the negative mental health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19. This includes older Canberrans, people living alone, young people, LGBTQI+, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Multicultural communities, and those that may have lost employment and livelihood due to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Dr Moore.