Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien is encouraging Wide Bay ex-service organisations to apply for a share of $1 million in funding to support the mental health and wellbeing of younger veterans.
The 2020-21 round of the Australian Government’s Supporting Younger Veterans (SYV) grants program is now open to ex-service organisations (ESOs) and their partner community groups and organisations in Wide Bay.
Grants of up to $50,000 are available for local, community-based projects and activities, and a small number of large grants of up to $150,000 are also available for projects that deliver wellbeing support services and activities for the younger veteran community.
“Now more than ever we know that veterans need our support, and this program allows ESOs and other community groups to boost targeted support and services for younger veterans at the local level,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This funding will enable local groups to expand and improve existing services and support programs for younger veterans, build the capacity for future services, and raise awareness of the important issues our younger veterans face, with local knowledge of what measures will be most helpful to the younger veterans and their families in their communities.”
Eligible activities may include social inclusion and connectedness activities for younger veterans and their families, mentoring or other support for veterans to assist with their transition to civilian life and employment, or online activities that address stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues faced by younger veterans.
“Our veterans have earned our respect and our support, and it is incredibly important at this time that we show them that we value them and their service for our country,” Mr O’Brien said.
“So I encourage all Wide Bay groups and organisations who provide services for veterans to get involved and show their support for our younger veterans and their families.”
Mr O’Brien said veteran mental health is a key priority for the Australian Government, with more than $11 billion invested in the delivery of essential services and programs, including access to free mental health care for veterans.
“Social connection is an important part of maintaining good mental health, so this round of grants will enable our local ESOs and community groups to improve existing programs or introduce new ones to support our younger veterans’ social wellbeing,” he said.
Applications for the SYV grants close 5 February 2021.
For more information or to submit an application, visit www.communitygrants.gov.au, call 1800 020 283 or email [email protected].