KI to receive $3m for mental health

Kangaroo Island to receive $3 million over 10 years from Fay Fuller Foundation for mental health after bushfire

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The team at the Junction Community Centre in Kingscote hosted a visit from the Fay Fuller Foundation.

The team at the Junction Community Centre in Kingscote hosted a visit from the Fay Fuller Foundation.

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Fay Fuller Foundation to work long-term on mental health on KI in the wake of the bushfires.

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Kangaroo Island will receive 10 years of funding and on-ground support from the Fay Fuller Foundation to work long-term on mental health in the wake of the bushfire disaster.

The exact approach for this funding will be finalised with the island community in the coming months, but funding will be in the order of $3 million across 10 years.

This will be accompanied by program support services from The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, Clear Horizon Consulting and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

The application was submitted by Maree Baldwin of KI Community Centre and supported by a team of locals.

This funding will be provided as part of an expansion of the Foundation's multi-million dollar Our Town initiative, which was launched last year with the aim of funding two SA towns or regions for a decade.

The Fay Fuller Foundation is an Adelaide-based philanthropic organisation, which enters into funding partnerships with the aim of improving the health and well-being of the SA community.

"We were already working with KI as part of the Our Town Initiative," Fay Fuller Foundation chairman David Minns said.

"Given recent tragic events, our foundation has decided to expand how many communities this initiative will support and make the decision now to provide one of those places to the island.

"We didn't want the application process for the Our Town Initiative to be an additional stress at this point in time; we wanted to ensure they could focus on their short term needs, knowing they could engage with the initiative when they were ready to look towards long term mental health challenges the community may face"

The towns of Kimba, Berri, Ceduna, Cummins along with a cluster of communities in the Mid Murray region are other communities have been shortlisted for the remaining two 10-year funding allocations.

These communities will receive seed funding and support to develop long-term plans to build mental health capability.

Our Town differs from other mental health initiatives as it is not about putting additional services in place or recruiting new mental health professionals.

The initiative seeks to fund and empower rural and regional communities to build sustainable internal capability to meet the mental health challenges their communities face.

The funding will complement the Federal Government's $76m for mental health in bushfire affected areas announced at the weekend, which will focus more on service provision such as counselling.

"The communities who applied to us identified challenges they wished to address including reducing the stigma around mental health, bringing community members together - especially those who were more isolated and upskilling locals as mental health first responders," Mr Minns said.

"We're looking at partnering with communities in a very sustainable way to find solutions that will have a legacy far beyond our program."

The story KI to receive $3m for mental health first appeared on The Islander.

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