Wellbeing grants available to empower drought affected communities

Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) is offering grants of up to $50,000 for community-led activities that build resilience 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.

Click here to apply

The Empowering our Communities Grants is the next phase of the Primary Health Network’s drought response, which predominately focuses on mental health support for communities.

Over the past six months we have travelled around the region, participating in drought forums, speaking to farmers, health workers, the business community and community leaders to provide additional support that effectively assists people in the region.

An online mental health support information hub has been set up on their Peoplebank website which provides information on available support for local people, as well as drought-specific referral pathways for local clinicians and health workers.

Access to services was a high priority for those who we have spoken to so we have removed the need for a GP referral to access the free local mental health services that we fund, making access easier.

The Primary Health Network is also subsiding the cost of 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.

The Empowering or Communities grants was part of a $2 million package in drought assistance funding to be distributed across the North West, New England, Upper Hunter and Hunter.

The grant application process is as simple as possible so that the funding can be distributed into the community as quickly as possible, aiming to inform applicants of the outcome of their submission within 10 business days.

Funding proposals can be submitted online at our Peoplebank Drought Support page.