The mission of the Mental Awareness Foundation (MAf) is to support charities that are working directly with communities, who are implementing strategies to raise awareness of depression and mental illness while supporting the preservation of life.
In May 2020 the MAf Executive Board have approved to allocate funding to three elected not-for-profit organisations in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. MAf have assigned $10,000 to each organisation, $30,000 in total, to support their communities with mental health help. The charities include:
- Suicide Prevention Pathways
- The Sunlight Centre
MAf asked each of the charities how the additional $10,000 will provide help communities and individuals to support mental health, illness, awareness and wellbeing. MAf also asked how the charities have had to adapt their core strategies, for connecting with their networks, implementing programs and delivering services, during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s hear from the organisations directly on what they had to say about coping during the COVID-19 pandemic and how the allocated funds, via MAf, will directly benefit those communities and individuals in need of mental awareness and health support.
Suicide Prevention Pathways (SPP) are saving lives daily by offering support, guidance and life skills programs to those clinging to life and hope, while experiencing troubling thoughts of ending their own life.
$10,000 will provide direct, lifesaving and life changing support, strategies for safety and skills for the future to 6 individuals contemplating suicide that reach out to SPP for help. The individual cost of providing wrap around support to one person contemplating suicide is currently approximately $1500.
Those clients supported, we anticipate the following outcomes
- Increased safety
- Increased self-awareness
- Increased sense of hope
- Increased sense of well-being
- Increased engagement
- Increased resilience
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, being the organically flexible organisation that we are, we are in a strong position to adapt our programs and services as required to ensure the safety of our staff and our clients, therefore we have made some key changes to our support processes.
For the time being we will not be meeting with clients for face-to-face appointments as we normally would – instead we will utilise online video platforms such as Zoom and telephone appointments to continue offering our vital support to our clients. Taking this approach is simply about keeping all of us safe by stopping the spread of the disease and helping to flatten out the curve.
SPP are also providing support and education to people experiencing suicidal thoughts and to their support networks, families or carers. Saving thousands of people from experiencing lifelong pain that suicide brings to families, friends and communities.
Our primary goal is to fill gaps that exist between crisis response and clinical interventions. We walk beside people in their time of darkness. We care, we show compassion, we give our time and we guide people toward a life filled with hope and purpose. For 19 years SPP has successfully and gratefully sourced support and funding from community, philanthropists, businesses and of course Mental Awareness Foundation to enable the continuity of our services.
Thank you for your continued support and considering Suicide Prevention Pathways for this
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and relevant restrictions, the Sunlight Centre has gone from free face to face crisis counselling to video, telephone and email support.
We still ensure the client connects and forms a therapeutic relationship with the same therapist, so the only main difference is the location.
Due to the self-isolation the Sunlight Centre is also creating Healthy Mind videos for all to watch and learn mental health coping mechanisms from.
Due to figures showing us that suicide rates rise during pandemics and financial stress, the Sunlight Centre is expecting a steady rise of numbers for the foreseeable future.
To achieve our current restructure project, we would use the Mental Awareness Foundation’s grant to purchase video equipment and editing software.
We also wish to use some of the grant to pay a local editing company, Tempus Media (who actually did some shots at last year’s Walk for Awareness). As a small independent company I know they are struggling right now, so by using the skills of local businesses we help keep the community moving forward.
The Mental Awareness Foundation is all about delivering fun, exciting, informative, exhilarating experiences and events within communities which then enable us to support charities. Our flagship event is the Walk for Awareness.
Find out more about who we are, what we do and who we support.