Health Youth Grants and awards | October 11, 2016

Kealy – Youth mental health funding boost for Hindmarsh

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP says a funding boost for the Hindmarsh Shire Council’s ‘Understanding Reality’ program will make a real difference for local young people.

The Council will receive $15,000 for the program, which is aimed at improving understanding and de-stigmatising mental health conditions in young people aged 12 to 18 years.

“Mental health is a huge issue not only in our region, but right across Victoria” Ms Kealy said.

“Almost 75 per cent of mental health illnesses commence before 25 years of age. We need to take a preventative approach and work to build resilience in our young people to instil confidence and the ability to cope with the challenges life throws at us,” she said.

“Research shows young Victorians with strong social and support networks are less vulnerable to depression and better able to cope with the ups and downs of life.

“Mental health and self-destructive behaviours are a particular concern in rural areas. We all need to know how to support someone going through a tough time and to encourage them to seek support from their doctor.

“Our region also has limited access to mental
health services readily accessible across the rest of Victoria due to our remoteness, presenting a further challenge.

“Increased funding for these kinds of local programs is vital to ensure we can respond to these challenges and make a real difference for our youth.

“I want everyone to know that it is normal to seek help for mental health and that it’s ok to not feel great all of the time”, she said.

The Council is one of 12 across Victoria to share in $400,000 of funding through VicHealth’s Bright Futures for Young Victorians Challenge. The Understanding Reality Program will use local forums and events to encourage social connection and opportunities for our young people to talk about problems before they become too great.

Funding for the Bright Futures Challenge is for a one-year period. Projects that demonstrate the greatest potential during the pilot phase may be offered further funding. For more information on VicHealth Bright Futures grants recipients, visit

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