Community grant builds capacity in mental health first aid

Two people clasping each other's hands in comfort

Apply for a grant to support and empower diverse communities across the City of Melbourne. 

We fund schools, non-profit organisations and community groups to deliver projects that build on principles of equity, inclusion and belonging through our Connected Communities grants. 

Apply now
The next round of our Connected Communities grants program is now open. To find out more about eligibility and how to apply, visit Community grants.

Last year, we funded Aspergers Victoria to deliver a mental health first aid training program for their staff and volunteers, who support diverse Aspergers autistics, and their families and allies. 

‘This grant has supported us to organise mental health first aid training for our for our team, including our peer volunteers,’ said Tamsin Jowett, President of Aspergers Victoria. 

‘All of our team have lived experience and this training has been something we wanted for many years so they can better support our members.’ 

Similar to medical first-aid, mental health first aid teaches you how to help a friend, family member, colleague or community member who is experiencing mental health problems.  

Participants learn about the signs of depression, anxiety, substance-use disorders and psychosis, and evidence-based treatments. 

They come away from the training with the tools, techniques and understanding needed to respond appropriately to a person experiencing a mental health problem or crisis.  

‘Many of our volunteers and staff have reported using its basic principles to support the mental health of our members, but also their families, fellow team members and people they come across who are experiencing mental health challenges,’ Tamsin said.  

‘Such training has also built their capacity in their work beyond Aspergers Victoria. They so appreciate this opportunity to do such a well-regarded training program.’ 

We supported a wide range of inspirational projects with Connected Communities grants in 2021, including: 

  • In Our Hands, a program designed to enhance and support the leadership potential of young residents of public housing in Kensington, Carlton and North Melbourne. ‍The program is a tailored and culturally appropriate approach to leadership development with ongoing case management and a scholarship fund. 
  • HoMie Pathway Alliance, an accredited retail training and education paid internship for young people affected by homelessness or hardship. Every year, HoMie selects young people to participate in an eight-month placement, equipping them with the skills, confidence and experience to kick-start their working life. 
  • Expansion of the Kensington Stockyard Food Garden, a garden that aims to serve, encourage, and educate residents by modelling the principals of environmentalism in achievable ways. The volunteer team does this by building a welcoming space in which isolated members of our community can participate freely.  

Tamsin encourages groups to apply for a grant to help make a difference in their communities. 

‘Such grants are essential for small not-for-profits trying to create social change. This support builds capacity to reach our vision and social impact,’ Tamsin said. 

For more information, visit Connected Communities grants, or subscribe to the Strengthening Community Organisations newsletter for ongoing updates. 

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