Healthy Canberra Grants focus on chronic disease and social connectedness

The ACT Government is investing $1.68 million through the Healthy Canberra Grants program to support local community groups and organisations build social connectedness and reduce the impact of chronic illness in the ACT.

These grants support the goal of the Healthy Canberra: ACT Preventive Health Plan 2020–2025, which seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of all Canberrans through every stage of life.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the challenges of the past year have highlighted the importance of social connectedness to our overall health and wellbeing.

“People who lack social connections often experience an increased risk of poor physical and psychological health. Connecting with the right programs and supports gives people the opportunity to improve their mental health.

“The recipients of the Healthy Canberra Grants have created programs that will empower Canberrans with the knowledge, skills and attitude to live well.

“Almost half of all adults in the ACT have at least one long-term health condition such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, mental illness, asthma or cancer.

“By funding programs that bring people together to feel valued and supported, we can reduce the impact of these diseases and improve health outcomes for our community,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Fifteen local community groups and organisations received funding for programs that will run over a three-year period, including:

  • Spinal Cord Injuries Australia’s ‘Creating peer-led networks for people with a spinal cord injury in the ACT’ program a community-based peer and family support program for Canberrans living with a spinal cord injury, through lived experience, social connectedness, and health and wellbeing.
  • Ngunnawal Primary School’s ‘The Deadly Lunchbox’ program aims to bring together parents and carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to inspire and encourage them to prepare healthy food for children.
  • Companion House’s ‘Leading Healthy Communities’ program working with people from refugee and asylum-seeker backgrounds to positively influence their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours to reduce the impact of targeted chronic illnesses.

Quote attributable to Dianne Lucas, CEO of Spinal Cords Injuries Australia:

“On behalf of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program for the generous contribution towards our Peer & Family Support program.

“Our aim is to create a world where people with spinal and neuro conditions and their loved ones thrive, and this grant will greatly assist us in extending our Peer & Family Support program into the ACT, by providing that vital lived experience to help improve the health and wellbeing of this community.

“Spinal Cord Injuries Australia supports people throughout their journey, and this grant will greatly assist us helping people live an independent and fulfilled life.”

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