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Australia Post's grants empower communities to enhance mental health and well-being

The Bugle App

Donna Portland

07 June 2024, 5:15 AM

Australia Post's grants empower communities to enhance mental health and well-being

Australia Post's Community Grants program, offering up to $10,000 for local, community-led projects across Australia, is now open for applications. 

Eligible not-for-profit groups can apply for these grants to fund initiatives focused on improving mental health and well-being in their local areas.

Last year, over $500,000 was distributed to 72 projects, supporting a variety of community initiatives. These projects included art and well-being workshops for Aboriginal communities, family sports days to boost social connections and physical activity, an eight-week psycho-educational program for women impacted by domestic violence, Mental Health First Aid training, and a Young Teens mentoring program. 

Notably, half of the successful applications came from rural and remote locations.

Nicky Tracey, Australia Post's General Manager of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, highlighted the diversity and impact of past projects: “Each year, there is a great diversity of mental health support projects across our Community Grants applications. From groups that keep elderly Australians connected to supporting workers with mental health, first aid-training and even surf therapy, we encourage applications from all local communities.”

She added, “We know that when we connect, we feel better, which is why projects supported by Australia Post share a common thread of improving mental health and well-being through the power of connection.”

Dianne Vella-Brodrick, Professor and Director of the Centre for Wellbeing Science at the University of Melbourne, emphasised the importance of such initiatives. 

“The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that more than 1 in 5 Australians aged 16-85 years experienced a mental health disorder in the past year, with anxiety and depression being the most common. These statistics underscore the urgent need for initiatives like the Community Grants to provide support at a community level.”

She continued, “This program empowers local groups to develop initiatives tailored to their specific needs – fostering ownership, motivation, and collaboration. When communities design and implement their own projects, they build local skills and competencies, which strengthens social bonds and overall well-being.”

This is a crucial opportunity for community groups delivering mental health and well-being initiatives to apply for additional funding, especially in a time when community connection and social bonds are more important than ever.

Australia Post is accepting applications until 1 July. Interested organisations are encouraged to review the Community Grant guidelines carefully to check eligibility requirements.

Australia Post's commitment to mental health also includes a partnership with Beyond Blue, which has delivered mental health resources to more than 16 million letterboxes across Australia. 

Additionally, Australia Post is a founding member of Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, supporting mental health and well-being in the transport and logistics industries.