Project funding to assist Eyre Peninsula communities

The awarding of state government funding will assist a new project relating to mental health and wellbeing to be delivered across Eyre Peninsula by Centacare Catholic Country SA.

Centacare has partnered with the LBI Foundation to initiate the Bush Telegraph Project, aiming to build the wellbeing, mental health and whole of life outcomes of COVID-19 vulnerable communities in the region.

The project has received $50,000 through the state government's $800,000 Wellbeing Fund under the 'Open Your World' wellbeing strategy.

Manager of Centacare's Port Lincoln and Lower Eyre Peninsula office Nicole Linsell said the funding would help get the project off the ground.

"It's pretty exciting to get the funding," she said.

"One of the benefits out of the funding is, essentially it's services we can put into a rural community, which is exciting for us."

The project will initially be delivered out of Centacare's three Eyre Peninsula offices at Ceduna, Port Lincoln and Whyalla, with aims to spread its reach to other towns across the region.

Funding will help focus on families and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including key groups of vulnerable people aged 12 to 25, vulnerable families and caregivers, young adults experiencing stress through COVID challenges, and groups at risk of social exclusion and housing vulnerability.

Ms Linsell said Centacare would use its regional reach to assist communities and was focused on empowering local community members.

"This will compliment existing services and be delivered by a regional service, which is where Centacare comes into it," she said.

"We are embedded in the community and can take LBI Foundation's science behind wellbeing and looking after each other, and bring that into our Eyre Peninsula communities.

"We are going to be able to come together and coach some champions within our agency - they are in the community and will work with the community to embed wellness techniques about caring for one another."

Ms Linsell said the Bush Telegraph was an umbrella term for multiple projects to be run on the ground out of the three Centacare offices.

"We will find projects in communities to support those communities," she said.

Environment Minister David Speirs has overseen the development of the state government's wellbeing strategy and said in a time of uncertainty, the 19 funded projects would assist with the ongoing health and wellbeing of South Australians.

"The unprecedented start to 2020 is having a significant impact our way of life and while the restrictions to manage the COVID-19 pandemic are only temporary the effect on our mental health and wellbeing could be much longer," he said.

"These projects will be delivered by community groups, non-government organisations and local government to boost South Australians' wellbeing and strengthen resilience."

The Bush Telegraph funding will run through to June 30, 2021.

This story Project funding to assist Eyre Peninsula communities first appeared on West Coast Sentinel.