Together with the Fay Fuller Foundation, in late 2019 we visited the nine towns and regions that were shortlisted for funding to learn more about their mental health challenges and bring their applications to life.
At the beginning of 2020, six of those nine towns received seed funding and support to develop long-term plans to grow community led initiatives that reclaim the mental health and wellbeing of their region. These six towns are Kangaroo Island, Ceduna, Berri, Cummins, Kimba and the Mid Murray Region.
Initially, the Fay Fuller Foundation planned to choose two communities from the six to each receive a decade of funding and support. However, given the recent catastrophic bushfire events on Kangaroo Island, the Fay Fuller Foundation chose to fund an additional community and guarantee Kangaroo Island 10 years of funding. This has enabled Kangaroo Island to focus on a plan beyond immediate relief and practical recovery efforts.
This is a partnership approach where we work alongside the Fay Fuller Foundation, Clear Horizon and regional communities to enable long term change and provide strong support to each community. TACSI’s specific role is:
- To provide regular coaching and capability building sessions for the SA town teams who are creating 10 year plans for their wellbeing.
- To foster learning across the communities and with key stakeholders like the SA Mental Health Commission.
Our capability building with communities focuses on
- Leadership development – strong responses need leadership to be able to leap from page to principle and action. Defining how to lead with purpose and build those skills in community is an essential key to the success of the Our Town initiative.
- Capability building – building up and out the capabilities not only of individuals in the initiative, but across all the teams ensures a broad range of solutions can be designed, prototyped and implemented with confidence.
- Participatory decision making – being active as a team and community members in the design phase through participating in the process of design builds a new level of engagement amongst participants, and allows for informed design from multiple viewpoints.
- Networked communities (fostering connections across communities focussed on mutual support, shared learning and exchange of resources)
- Systemic perspective and influence – looking at mental health through a systemic lens allows the teams to understand both opportunities and challenges for change. Ensuing that they are better prepared to build support for their plans in community and alongside the systemic responses.