Mental Health and Wellbeing Innovation Grants Program (MHWIGP)

The COVID-19 MHWIGP will provide funding for innovative initiatives from community based mental health service providers, other Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), individuals, and community groups.

These grants give the community an opportunity to think innovatively and creatively to come up with projects that will support the mental health and wellbeing of people in the ACT during this unprecedented time. Successful applications will give focus to the new and emerging mental health and wellbeing needs of the community in relation to the impacts of COVID-19.

There is up to $350,000 in funding available between two grant streams. Each initiative funded through the MHWIGP will be delivered over a maximum of 12 months.

To be funded under these grants, projects will need to be able to contribute to the achievement of one or more of the following outcomes, in relation to the impacts of COVID-19:

  1. People in the ACT community are supported to maintain connection and overarching mental health and wellbeing through:
    1. Participating in recovery-focused activities that promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
    2. Building Resilience – promoting mental health and wellbeing literacy, help seeking behaviours, and resources for self-management (anxiety, depression) for the broader community.
    3. Protecting and promoting wellbeing and connection – for example, addressing loneliness through creativity.
  2. People in the ACT community can access mental health and wellbeing supports that meet their needs, including:
    1. Programs that contribute to recovery and reconnection as Canberrans adjust to the evolving COVID-19 situation, including initiatives that support the community as it begins to rebuild from the impacts of the pandemic.
    2. Addressing mental health and wellbeing needs of people who have suffered unemployment and economic hardship as a result of COVID-19.
    3. Supporting and enabling management of medium to longer term mental health implications of continued financial hardship, uncertainty over the personal and family impact of COVID-19; and increased time and support needed to process loss and grief over the death of loved ones, family conflict, changed family relationships, loss of education, income and status.

Funding Guidelines

Please take the time to read and familiarise yourself with the funding guidelines for these grants. This document contains important information that is relevant to your application. Any application that does not comply with the guidelines may be deemed ineligible.

ACT Mental Health and Wellbeing Innovation Grants Program - Funding Guidelines

Applications close on Friday 17 July at 12 noon.

Applications can be made online via the SmartyGrants online grants management system.

Funding Streams

Organisational Grants (grants valued between $10,000 and $75,000)

These grants can be used to meet new or emerging need for mental health support either resulting from, or heightened by, the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs that are innovative, creative and support the recovery, resilience and improvement in the mental health and wellbeing of Canberrans are welcomed.

Applications are open to not-for-profit incorporated organisations; ACT Government, Independent, Catholic systemic or Catholic non-Systemic schools; and accredited early childhood service or out of hours school programs. 

Community Grants (grants valued up to $10,000)

These grants are for small scale activities that will directly support neighbourhoods, local communities, cultural and identity groups, LGBTIQ+ Canberrans and shared interest groups to improve our resilience and recovery in Canberra.

Applications are open to individuals; community groups and local networks; not-for-profit incorporated organisations; not-for-profit organisations with other legal status; ACT Government, Independent, Catholic systemic or Catholic non-Systemic schools; accredited early childhood service or out of hours school programs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here you’ll find FAQs received during the grants process. Please take the time to read these questions, as they may contain information that could be helpful to your application.    

Q: Can I apply in both the Organisational Grants Stream and the Community Grants Stream?

A: Yes, however they must be separate initiatives. Applications found to seek funding from both streams for the same or parts of the same activity/initiative may result in one application being deemed ineligible.
Please refer to the funding guidelines for further details as to the purpose of each stream and eligibility criteria.

Q: The MHWIGP Organisation Grants application form has questions about partnerships, collaboration and service integration.  Am I able to draw on ACT Government support to connect me to engage in such partnerships?

A: No.
The onus is on applicants to identify potential partners (if relevant), outline the role that partners will play in service delivery, and provide evidence of identified partners’ commitment to the project.  Similarly, the onus is on applicants to identify potential opportunities for collaboration and improved service integration within the current mental health system and other elements of the human services system.

Q: The guidelines specify that the proposal should be delivered within 3 months for the Community Grants and within 6 months for the Organisational Grants.  It then goes on to specify that all proposed outcomes should be achieved by the end of the 12-month funding period. Please can you clarify?

A: The following information provides clarification:

  • Organisation Grants: Activities should commence within 3 months of the date funding is received and be complete no later than 12 months.
  • Community Grants: Activities should commence within 6 months of the date funding is received and be complete no later than 12 months.

Q: What level of support can ACT Health Directorate offer me to complete my application?

A: Due to probity and fairness obligations, ACT Health Directorate staff are not able to provide specific assistance such as typing an application on your behalf.  Whilst we are committed to making our information, opportunities, services, events and venues, accessible to as many people as possible, ACT Government are only able to offer assistance to support you to understand the application process and MHWIGP Guidelines.

Contact Details

For further information please email MHWIG@act.gov.au.

Page last updated on: 14 Jul 2020