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Michael Walls
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Feedback sought from Riverstone, Schofields 
A MIX of more than 5,000 new and affordable homes could soon be built in Sydney’s Northwest, at Riverstone East and Schofields, with development proposals now open for public feedback.

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KELLYVILLE Ridge youth Nicolas Ballas is bouncing his way into the record books.

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COMMUNITY groups undertaking activities which reduce stigma and enhance help seeking to reduce the risk of suicide are encouraged to apply for Southwestern Sydney PHN’s current round of Suicide Prevention Grants.
Grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 are being offered under the Targeted Regional Initiatives for Suicide Prevention program to eligible groups across Southwestern Sydney.
Initiatives delivered through the grants will engage with individuals and/or groups from priority populations to reduce their risk of suicide through early interventions which improve mental health, give a better understanding of suicide, reduce stigma surrounding suicide and build community resilience.
Target populations include men, First Nations peoples, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+, recent refugees, people culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, veterans, people living in semi-rural and rural areas and those experiencing financial hardship.
Southwestern Sydney PHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Keith McDonald PhD, said recent widespread consultation told us told us stigma and a lack of awareness about suicide and local services, along with a lack of culturally appropriate supports were significant barriers to people seeking help.
Dr McDonald encouraged local groups working with priority communities to apply.
“Our goal in opening these grants is two-fold,” he said. “We want to promote connectedness and reduce stigma. Applications can cover one or both objectives.
“From the grants process we want to see initiatives which promote increased awareness of local, relevant services as well as help-seeking in local populations who are more at risk of suicide. We are also looking for peer-led early intervention programs to reduce the risk of suicide in vulnerable groups over-represented in local data.
“This could be programs that utilise lived experience and knowledge of suicide to develop a person’s social support networks and capacities through safe and inclusive approaches.”
The funding period of the grants is 1 June 2024 to 31 December 2025.
Applications are open now and close 5pm on 25 March. Detailed guidelines and the Expression of Interest form are available on SWSPHN’s website.

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