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    Landcare Funding Assistance

    PHN Wellbeing Grants

    Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) will again offer grants of up to $50,000 for community-led activities that promote mental and emotional wellbeing during the big dry.

    The Empowering our Communities grants will fund:

    • Community events or workshops that promote resilience and reduce stigma associated with mental illness and accessing mental health and suicide prevention services
    • Complementary and lifestyle activities known to improve physical and mental health, that can be delivered in a group setting, such as exercise classes, relaxation and yoga classes,
      mindfulness meditation classes; and
    • Community education on topics such as managing stress, anxiety, depression and stigma.

    HNECC PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis, said the first round of the Empowering our Communities Grants earlier this year had been positively received across the region.

    “We have already distributed over $1 million across the New England North West, Hunter and Mid-Coast, with over 300 events and activities running until May next year”, Mr Nankervis said.

    He said events and activities have varied greatly, from community yoga sessions in town halls to dinner events that promote social connection and provide information and resources for mental
    health services – being community-led the communities are best placed to tell us what would help them during this time.

    “We are acutely aware that the circle of impact of the drought grows wider every day we go without rain.

    “We hope that these wellbeing grants will continue to ensure that communities stay connected, as social connectedness is a key factor in positive mental and physical health and emotional
    wellbeing”, Mr Nankervis said.

    Mr Nankervis said they have made the grant application process as simple as possible so that the funding can be distributed into the community quickly.

    In addition to the community grant funding that is available, the Primary Health Network has also:

    • Removed the need for a GP referral to access the free local mental health services that we fund, making access easier. These services are delivered locally through our providers and
      people are encouraged to contact these organisations to access the free services
    • Subsided the full cost for people who would like to complete QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) training - a short course designed to help people recognise the warning signs of a
      suicide crisis and how to respond in an emergency mental health situation. Information to access this can be found on our website.
    • Partnered with the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAHMP) to fund the delivery of Workplace Support Skills and Community Support Skills training to the smaller communities
      across the New England
    • Partnered with the Resilience Project for a school-based pilot which will be implemented in the schools across the Liverpool Plains Local Government Area. The aim is to focus on
      developing positive mental health strategies and student wellbeing activities in a consistent school curriculum across an entire LGA. This pilot will commence in November, 2019
    • Setup a comprehensive Patientinfo drought support resource that outlines all aspects of services (health, financial,etc) available to people
    • Drought-specific referral pathways for local clinicians and health workers to assist patients access appropriate services.

    Applications for round two funding will open on Friday, October 25. Funding proposals can be submitted online at www.peoplebank.hneccphn.com.au/farmer-support or Google ‘Peoplebank PHN’

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