Grants for innovative ideas to improve student wellbeing

Grant applications for the Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund are now open.

Image: Capacity building: Student wellbeing is a key focus of NSW public schools.

Improving student mental health and wellbeing is the focus of the $3.2 million Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund, which has opened for applications for grants up to $200,000.

The grants are available to providers of wellbeing programs and services to support capacity building or provide seed funding to develop new and innovative student wellbeing programs and initiatives in NSW schools.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the fund would act to stimulate organisations in the sector to develop new programs or initiatives or expand existing programs to support students’ wellbeing.

“There is no one-size-fits all solution for supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people. That’s why it’s so important to give schools an opportunity to address local issues affecting their students through the bespoke programs this fund will help grow,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We know in this ever-changing world, schools often have to find innovative and agile ways to support our students to thrive as confident, successful and lifelong learners. This Fund will give providers the opportunity to support schools in innovative ways, while ensuring there is a high level of quality in those programs.”

The Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund is part of the NSW Government’s ongoing work to provide greater mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people.

There are five priority areas for applications under the Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund, aligned with the wellbeing elements of belonging, resilience and behaviour.

These are:

  • Primary school-aged students
  • Students transitioning to Kindergarten and to secondary school
  • Students living in regional and remote areas
  • Students from target cohorts, including First Nations students and culturally and linguistically diverse students; students with additional needs and/or disability; students from a migrant or refugee background; and female students
  • Cyber health.

The grants are available either as seed grants or capacity building grants. A seed grant is a one-off allocation of funding to be used to support ‘incubator’ student wellbeing programs or initiatives and may be used to research, create, develop and test new approaches to support and address student wellbeing issues.

A capacity building grant is to support providers of existing wellbeing programs or initiatives to strengthen these by expanding the reach or scale, or to deliver the programs in new areas or priority areas.

The NSW Government last week launched the NSW Department of Education’s Student Wellbeing external programs catalogue which has around 50 programs that have been reviewed and quality assured.

“Sourcing appropriate and evidence-based programs is not always easy for schools, taking time and often requiring specialist knowledge. This catalogue takes out the guesswork and administrative burden, giving school leaders more confidence in their decisions around what external providers they use to support students,” Ms Mitchell said.

The Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund also aims to expand the availability of evidence-based programs currently available in the Student Wellbeing external programs catalogue.

For more information, visit the Student Wellbeing Innovation Fund webpage and download the program guidelines.

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