Earlier this month, we announced that applications are now open for organisations and/or community groups who are interested in supporting drought affected communities within Shoalhaven and Southern NSW. We joined with our local MPs and The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP to make this announcement.

The grants funding is available for small to medium community groups/organisations to provide free group-based activities that deliver mental health and wellbeing benefits to people who live in drought affected communities in our region.

Up to $200,000 in funding is available and organisations, community groups and local governments who are based in the following local government areas are eligible to apply: Shoalhaven; Eurobodalla; Bega Valley; Snowy Monaro; Queanbeyan Palerang; Goulburn Mulwaree; Yass Valley and Upper Lachlan Shire. Find out more 

In other news, the NSW Mental Health Commission is currently undertaking a mid-term review of its Living Well strategic plan for mental health in NSW for 2014-2024.

Our PHN was the first to take part in this consultation, with a forum taking place in Batemans Bay last week for community members and other stakeholders to provide feedback.

The work of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative was also used as a case study for the mid-term review, focusing on the involvement of people with lived experience in the development of the safe space proposal – a non-clinical crisis support for people who are suicidal.

Finally, we are about to launch a new campaign aimed at increasing awareness of support for mental health, and drug and alcohol concerns in the region.

The campaign urges people to talk to someone they can trust, visit their doctor, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or visit
reachoutanytime.info for information, resources and help.

It will be aired on two local television stations, as well as radio, local newspapers and social media between April and June.


Dianne Kitcher