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State Trustees Australia Foundation continues to support regional Victorians

05 January 2024

News Charitable Giving

State Trustees Australia Foundation continues to support regional Victorians

The State Trustees Australia Foundation has granted Phoenix Australia a further $238,000 to expand its SOLAR initiative in regional and rural Victoria.


SOLAR, or Skills For Life Adjustment and Resilience, is an early intervention program aimed at preventing serious psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder following natural disasters like bushfires.


State Trustees Executive General Manager of Trustee Services, Michael Spiegel, said expanding the SOLAR initiative will promote mental health and wellbeing in regional and rural Victorian communities.


“Putting more resources into training community leaders and health care workers across regional and rural areas will significantly improve mental health outcomes in communities impacted by natural disasters,” Mr Spiegel said.


The grant, which follows the $250,000 in funding the Foundation awarded Phoenix Australia in 2020, will enable the SOLAR initiative to significantly expand its program. This includes training additional coaches in communities that have experienced bushfires and other major stressors, including the severe economic impacts and uncertainties associated with COVID-19.


“The SOLAR program has been shown to help communities recover from disasters like bushfires. Early investment in mental health programs can help prevent more serious psychiatric disorders emerging such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder,” Mr Spiegel said.


Philanthropic Grants Specialist Michael Grigoletto, expressed thanks for the generosity behind the support of this critical program: “We are grateful to the individuals and families who donated to the Foundation during their lifetime or as a gift in their will. Their generosity enables the Foundation to continue funding these important projects each year, helping support and promote the wellbeing of Victorians.”

About State Trustees Australia Foundation

The Foundation was established in 1994 as a public charitable trust. Funded by donations and bequests from generous community members, the Foundation has distributed more than $38 million to charities over 25 years. This grant was focused on improving the wellbeing of young Australians in rural and regional areas, noting that at least 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness during their lifetime and at least 20% of adults are affected by mental illness each year.


For background on the grant please contact the Foundation’s charitable team on (03) 9667 2845, charitable@statetrustees.com.au


For media queries please contact State Trustees’ Media team via media@statetrustees.com.au

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