Community resilience grants to help commercial fishers Stay Afloat

Applications are now open for Community Resilience Grants of up to $2000, as part of the Stay Afloat program to support and improve the mental health of those in the seafood industry.

The grants are available for seafood communities around Australia to host community-led events that support discussions on mental health, well-being and connectedness.

There are 35 grants available as part of the Morrison Government’s $600,000 election commitment for Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) to deliver the first industry-specific mental health support program.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Jonno Duniam, said it was an important time to focus on the mental health of Australia’s commercial fishers.

“We know that a range of factors have led to poor levels of mental health among Australia’s commercial fishers, and that’s why we committed $600,000 of funding to the cause at the last Federal Election to help those in the industry,” Jonno said.

Under the program, members of the seafood community can apply for grants to plan an event to bring the seafood industry together, raise awareness about mental health and provide support and tools to improve the wellbeing of commercial fishers.

SIA Chief Executive Veronica Papacosta said the program had been developed to break the stigma associated with poor mental health within the industry.

“Research has shown Australia’s commercial fishers experience twice the base-rate of psychological stress than the general population, and this is not okay,” Ms Papacosta said.

“This pilot program has been specially developed to help break the stigma associated with poor mental health within industry, and we thank the government for their support,” Veronica said.

The Community Resilience Grants support events up to the value of $2,000 that encourage seafood communities nationwide to come together in a supportive setting to raise awareness of mental health and the benefits of overall wellbeing.

Talking about mental health isn’t always the easiest conversation to have, but it’s an important conversation to have.

The grants have been structured to support events that raise awareness of mental health stressors, early warning signs, and how to start conversations with loved ones; whilst building a robust network of support within the commercial seafood industry itself, along with friends, families and the local community.

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STAY AFLOAT: (L-R) Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council CEO Julian Harrington and Rural Alive and Well operations manager Andrew Dean joined Senator Jonno Duniam and Stay Afloat program manager Jo Marshall for the launch of the grants in Hobart this week.