08/02/2021 | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

Ten local organisations in Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide Hills and Yorketown have been awarded grants for local mental health and wellbeing projects, following the devastating bushfires across the 2019/20 summer season.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the first round of the Strengthening Community Wellbeing after Bushfire grants is part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $2.6 million Bushfire Mental Health Project, which is delivering targeted assistance over four years to people living in bushfire affected communities.

“The Marshall Government is committed to supporting and strengthening the resilience of these communities,” Minister Wade said.

“These grants aim to ensure that people who have experienced trauma from bushfires are well-supported as they explore ways to strengthen their mental health and wellbeing.

“There is no single way to improve mental health and wellbeing and the projects of the successful grant recipients vary from supporting people caring for animals impacted by the bushfires to delivering tailored first aid sessions and mental health information for children.

“Other grant recipients focused on supporting men to connect through art mental therapy and supporting local women to come together at events such as cooking, craft, concerts and first aid training.”

Wellbeing SA Chief Executive, Lyn Dean, said bushfire recovery is not a short term process and must be led, inspired and driven by the community over the long term.

“We aim to find every opportunity to work with bushfire affected communities to help people recover well, and build resilience and wellbeing,” Ms Dean said.

“Our Wellbeing SA community engagement staff based on Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide Hills and Yorketown are working closely with residents to identify what community members need to strengthen their mental health and wellbeing.

“Most importantly, we know that family and friends, social networks, and community groups are important influencers on resilience and recovery.”

A full list of grant recipients can be found at https://openyourworld.sa.gov.au/bushfiregrants.