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The Ian Potter Foundation

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About the Ian Potter Foundation

The Ian Potter Foundation is a major Australian philanthropic foundation that supports and promotes excellence and innovation. The Foundation was established in 1964 by Australian financier, businessman and philanthropist, Sir Ian Potter (1902 – 1994).

Through its grants program, the Foundation seeks to encourage excellence and support Australia’s talent: the visionaries, social entrepreneurs, scientists, academics and researchers, artists and teachers, and those who dedicate themselves to bettering our communities for the benefit of all.

Support for SANE

The Foundation is supporting SANE with three strategic initiatives:

  • Relocation to the University of Melbourne's "Melbourne Connect" innovation precinct in 2021
  • SANE Assist capacity building project for the SANE Help
  • Better Support research and resource development project that seeks to understand and better support the needs of families and friends after a loved one has attempted suicide.

With matched funding from the Grenet Merrin Foundation, the Ian Potter Foundation is supporting engagement with the University of New England in conducting qualitative research to evaluate the provision of support and services for carers of people who have attempted suicide. Funding will then inform the development of resources, promotion and advocacy towards increasing the knowledge of community and health sector professionals, whilst reducing stigma, and improving the lives of those who are supporting a loved one.

At its core, Better Support will provide practical and easy to access information about how best to support a person who has attempted suicide, and how to stay healthy as the care-giver. The resources will emphasise a non-clinical, first-person perspective and be disseminated through community and Primary Health Networks, and our network of 50+ mental health partners. It will also allow us to effectively advocate on behalf of those impacted by attempted suicide and inform policy and programming decisions.

During FY20-FY22, the Foundation is also supporting the 'SANE Assist' project which aims to increase organisational capacity to provide specialist, professional mental health support services for people affected by complex mental health issues, including those living in rural and regional areas via SANE's 1800 helpline, webchat, email, online forums and psycho-educational resources on

Established in 1998, the SANE Help Centre is the only support service of its kind in Australia for people affected by complex mental health issues. One of the most unique aspects of the SANE Help Centre is that it is staffed by trained mental health professionals who not only care deeply about the work they do, but also have the specific professional expertise and wisdom to guide and support people on their journey with complex mental illness.

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