New England Mental Health Grants Awarded

Wed Aug 26, 2015

RichmondPRA has announced a series of funding grants aimed at improving regional mental health service solutions in various parts of the New England.

As another phase of the local Partners in Recovery (PIR) mental health support initiative, the packages have been awarded following a careful selection process where applicants have to demonstrate how they can use innovative practices to assist local people with a lived experience of mental illness.

To date, eight funding packages between $6,000 and $40,000 have been contracted and more funding is available for other organisations that can make a difference when it comes to providing local mental health recovery options. Totalling $107,000 as at the end of July, the funding enables local organisations to introduce ground-breaking community-based support programs across the region.

While the major packages are contracted to HealthWISE and EACH, six other local organisations will also receive funding:

  • The ‘Let’s Talk’ project led by HealthWISE will support Hunter New England Health (HNEH) to facilitate workshops to engage local stakeholders in understanding and participating in a recovery oriented approach to supporting clients transitioning between HNEH and other support services. HealthWISE will encourage widespread participation including representation from mental and allied health clinicians, GPs, specialists, clients and carers from the local health district, NGOs and private sector, strengthening partnerships and service co-ordination in the region;
  • EACH will deliver a program called Connect and Recover Ehealth that aims to improve access to supports for people in rural areas with mental health issues. People will be assisted with training, resources and support to access the right professional help at the right time through the internet;
  • Centacare has committed to The “Crafty” Healing Circle program that will support social and emotional wellbeing amongst Aboriginal women from the Boggabilla, Toomelah and Tingha communities. The program will focus on exercise, relaxation, diet, art and craft as ways to enjoy better mental health and more meaningful living and ultimately benefit their entire families;
  • Goondiwindi Care Inc. (Boggabilla) will operate the Resilient Minds project over 6 months aimed at building confidence and self-esteem and engaging clients in activities delivered in their community that address healthy eating, healthy minds and forming relationships to assist in their day to day activities.
  • The Glen Innes District Community Centre project will connect participants to services available in the local area, connect participants into the broader community, give participants options and goals, build recovery and selfmanagement skills and build relationships and a support network between participating peers.
  • Rural Fit (Tamworth) will run a pilot program to assist clients with a lived experience using a mixture of face-to-face and tele-health support for both physical and mental wellbeing and recovery.
  • Armidale Volunteer Referral Service will conduct sessions focusing on awareness of mental health issues and how people can be helped through participation in volunteer roles, which can give them confidence, an interest in the organisation they are assisting and connection to the community
  • The Benevolent Society’s Tamworth office will provide Horticulture Therapy activities to 20 families participating in the Brighter Futures program. Families affected by mental health issues will be offered resources, direct support and connections to community to undertake horticulture therapy activities.

“These are real dollars making a real difference for people with mental health issues across the New England,” RichmondPRA CEO Pam Rutledge said.

“Each of these programs are unique and tailor-made for assisting local people with their mental health recovery journeys.

“They fit perfectly with the philosophy of Partners In Recovery, which is all about better local support and cohesion so that people with mental health issues can get the right help at the right time.”

RichmondPRA New England Cluster Manager Jim Booth said more grants are still available to local organisations through the Recovery Integration Plan funding round which remains open.

“Any local organisation that can demonstrate innovative ways of making life better for people with a lived experience of mental illness can apply for funding,” Mr Booth said.

Local organisations can apply for grants by visiting, calling 1300 782 332 or emailing

Media enquiries: Matthew Watson, 0417 691 884