Wolper Foundation grants bolster five projects

The Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy launch last September.

FROM supporting a first-of-its-kind suicide prevention strategy specifically tailored to the Jewish community, to boosting services for Jewish senior citizens and people with multiple sclerosis (MS), Wolper Jewish Hospital Health Foundation’s (WJHHF) first grant allocation round for 2018 will go a long way.

Foundation chair and Wolper Jewish Hospital president Daniel Goulburn announced last week the grants – worth $65,000 – will benefit five community health initiatives in NSW. He added this funding round brings to $600,000 the total amount WJHHF has provided in grants since it was established in 2014.

JewishCare will use its grant to bolster its Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy (JSPS), which was launched by the federal Member for Berowra Julian Leeser and representatives of 21 communal, health and emergency services organisations with the backing of JCA.

The funds will enable JewishCare to deliver two standard, two youth-specific and two senior-oriented ‘mental health first aid’ short courses – an important element for suicide prevention at a grassroots level, arming people with the skills and knowledge to recognise mental health warning signs and useful advice to help people at risk or in need.

JSPS chair, Woollahra Councillor Isabelle Shapiro, told The AJN, “We are very grateful to Wolper because these important courses aim to educate and empower – and they are provided free to the community”.

“The grant will also be used towards distributing crisis information cards, delivering Mindframe training to media workers, and running a monthly support group for people affected by suicide. Suicide is preventable, and that’s what we’re working towards.”

WJHHF grant recipient the Holdsworth Community – based in Woollahra – will expand its seniors wellbeing program, which provides participants with support and guidance from an experienced rehabilitation counsellor to boost strength and agility, reduce falls, and tackle social isolation.

COA Sydney will utilise its grant to upgrade audiovisual and public announcement systems at its Krygier Activity Centre, where more than 200 Jewish senior citizens come each week to participate in social and wellbeing programs.

Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe’s senior citizens ‘Bis 120’ club will be able to partake in extra weekly activities including communal meals, entertainment, talks and presentations, and access to transport, thanks to a WJHHF grant.

And a grant to Multiple Sclerosis Ltd will fund two additional wellness workshop series in wheelchair-accessible venues in Sydney’s east and north for people impacted with MS.

Applications for the next round of WJHHF grants open on September 1. Visit www.wolper.com.au for details.

SHANE DESIATNIK