Cummins shortlisted in top six for Fay Fuller Foundation funding

Cummins and surrounding districts are set to be part of a nine month program to develop an action plan for mental health issues and suicide prevention after the town was named among five others statewide up for 10 years of mental health funding.

NEXT ROUND: Jo Clark and Emma Gale are pumped about Cummins being selected as a possibility for 10 years of mental health funding

NEXT ROUND: Jo Clark and Emma Gale are pumped about Cummins being selected as a possibility for 10 years of mental health funding

Mentally Fit EP originally applied for the funding through the Fay Fuller Foundation's Our Town initiative, who visited the area in November with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI).

Community development officer Emma Gale said she was "absolutely thrilled" to find out they had made it through to the next round.

"For me personally, I couldn't believe it...it's not just about the funding but the mentorship that comes with it," she said.

West Coast Youth and Community Support chief executive officer Jo Clark said they were asked to describe in one word how they felt about getting through to the next round.

"We said "pumped", which we thought was really apt because Kirsty (Traeger) always did a fist pump into the air....this was her dream, she knew her community was amazing but that it could be better, and that if someone was struggling, where would you get that support?"

The nine month program includes a funding package of $45,000 that will help them develop a community action plan through community consultation and with mentoring from TACSI.

Ms Clark said in-depth community consultation would take place not just in Cummins but in the 10 other surrounding districts they listed in their application as using Cummins as a central hub for services.

We want to make sure we are capturing the community voice and what we need, and to embed that long term to make sure it's sustainable.

Jo Clark

"We think it's really important all voices are heard in the community planning...I'm hoping to get an external consultant to come on board, we want to make sure we are capturing the community voice and what we need, and to embed that long term to make sure it's sustainable," she said.

Key principles for developing the community action plan included engaging and empowering the community, literacy in Mental Health, confidence in skills and culture, creating change related to stigma, and building trust within the community.

Ms Clark said they wanted to develop two action plans; one if they received the 10 year funding package and one if they didn't.

Mrs Gale said even if they weren't one of the two towns in the state to receive the 10 year funding at the end, they would still have learnt so much from the professional help the Fay Fuller Foundation and TACSI were going to provide.

She said all the ideas and concepts that went into their application had come from people in the region, and that was something the foundation wanted going into forming the new action plan.

"From the beginning we have been seeking community support and informing people of the processes so the foundation could see those conversations had already started and the community were already thinking about it," she said.

The Fay Fuller Foundation said the two final towns would receive $3 million over ten years, however the foundation has also developed a separate funding stream for Kangaroo Island which was shortlisted but then impacted by bushfires.

Kimba and Ceduna have also been selected in the shortlist of six towns.