What is the COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Support?

The COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Support is a grant opportunity to support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of Australians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Background

On 29 March 2020 the Australian Government announced a $74 million package to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians during the Coronavirus pandemic (2019-2020 to 2020-21). Specifically, the COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Support grant opportunity will contribute to the Australian Government’s implementation of mental health reforms. Under Program 2.1: Mental Health, the Australian Government is committed to supporting Australians with, or at risk of, mental illness by improving service integration for a more effective and efficient mental health system.

The key Mental Health priorities are:

  • mental health workforce capacity building;
  • digital mental health initiatives;
  • child and youth mental health initiatives;
  • suicide prevention; and
  • National leadership.

 

Objectives

In line with the above priorities, the purpose of the COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Support grant opportunity is to:

  • Support vulnerable people, including frontline health workers, older Australians, Indigenous Australians, and those that are socially isolated or financially impacted to access mental health services and supports; and
  • Ensure that all Australians know how they can access mental health services and support.

The intended outcomes of the COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Support grant opportunity are:

  • To support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of Australians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Funding

The COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Support grant opportunity will provide grant funding of up to $27.619 million (GST exclusive) in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years. It is anticipated that the completion date will be 30 June 2021.

 

Eligible Activities

The grant and associated costs can be used for the following grant activity/s:

  • Providing dedicated mental health digital resources, online support services and phone counselling and crisis support services;
  • Supporting front-line health workers mental health and wellbeing through online tools, moderated forums and online counselling services;
  • Developing new culturally appropriate mental health and wellbeing resources across a range of platforms for vulnerable populations including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • Producing new toolkits and resources to support expecting and new parents cope with increased stress and anxiety;
  • Enhancing digital platforms to improve connecting Australians with a mental health professional, particularly psychologist when needed;
  • Growing digital capability transfer for other mental health services for those with severe and complex mental illness;
  • Delivering virtual peer support to people experiencing trauma, loneliness and distress via telephone or videoconference; and
  • Targeted mental health communications campaign using the Department’s established processes.

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the the COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Support grant opportunity, you must be the listed organisation:

  • Blue Knot Foundation
  • BeyondBlue
  • Lifeline
  • Kids Helpline
  • Gayaa Dhuwi
  • Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA)
  • Australian Psychological Society (APS)
  • University of Melbourne
  • Smiling Mind
  • SANE Australia
  • Independent Community Living Australia (ICLA)

Other organisations may be invited by the Commonwealth to expand mental health services and supports during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rationale for Invitation:

The eligible organisations have been identified by the Department to receive this one-off emergency funding considering the nature of the grant is specifically dependent on delivery of mental health services and supports to the Australian population.

There is urgent need associated with the provision of services provided for COVID-19 related mental health services.

The identified organisations are eligible for the COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Support grant opportunity as they have been assessed to have:

  • capability to deliver the project activities in the project location;
  • existing infrastructure and relationships to support the project activities;
  • knowledge of and capability to deliver the project objectives and outcomes in the agreed timeframes; and
  • not having the funds to undertake these activities/project.

 

Timing

Applications close 6 April 2020.

 

More Information