2016 Stronger Minds

Through consultation with sector experts and the use of research, including the NAB Quarterly Australian Wellbeing Index, we’ve identified areas of need and demographic groups that are most vulnerable. This has allowed us to focus our grants program in the areas of research, youth, rural and remote Australia and social inclusion.


For research that provides a deeper understanding of the key drivers of mental health and wellbeing.

The Black Dog Institute

Depression and anxiety affect the lives of many Australians - one in six will experience depression and one in four will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Unfortunately, around 60 per cent of those with anxiety and depression do not seek or receive appropriate treatment. Left untreated, these illnesses lower quality of life, increase risk of suicide and worsen outcomes for other physical and mental health issues.

The Black Dog Institute aims to significantly reduce the incidence of mental illness and suicide, reduce the stigma surrounding mental health problems and empower all people to live the most mentally healthy life possible.

The NAB Foundation is helping to fund the Black Dog Institute’s first of a kind pilot project that integrates mental healthcare into GP clinics through an online platform that supports cost-effective accessible screening, early intervention, treatment and follow-up for those experiencing anxiety and depression.

The aim of this project is to evaluate an innovative system of individualised stepped mental health care that could ultimately be implemented throughout general practice clinics right across Australia.

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s mission is to make significant contributions to medical research that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. Garvan strives to enhance and develop research programs that combine fundamental science with strong clinical interactions.

The NAB Foundation’s grant is enabling the next stage of a neurogenomics project that aims to identify the genetic causes of bipolar disorder. Identifying the genes which carry damaging mutations will give researchers an understanding of the molecular basis of this severe psychiatric condition, helping to facilitating more effective diagnosis and personalised treatment. Potential discoveries may also lead to better understanding of other mental health disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.


For preventative mental health and wellbeing initiatives that build resilience and help empower young Australians and their families.

Smiling Mind

Prevention is the key to changing the alarming statistics of mental illness in Australia. Smiling Mind aims to reduce the burden of mental illness in Australian youth by providing pre-emptive mental health programs based on mindfulness meditation in Australian schools – with the vision to see mindfulness meditation on the school curriculum by 2020.

Why? We need to start early to build resilience, enhance wellbeing and develop good mental health – and the most effective preventative interventions focus on developing strong mental health during the school years.

Smiling Mind provides accessible, life-long tools based in mindfulness meditation – with the goal to create happier, healthier and more compassionate people. The NAB Foundation is providing funding to support a major upgrade of the Smiling Mind technology platform to support increasing demand and enable future growth.

Top Blokes Foundation

To address issues of anti-social, risk-taking behaviour and community disengagement of young men, the Top Blokes Foundation directly empowers young men to positively contribute to their local community.

The NAB Foundation is providing funding to help scale the Junior Top Blokes Mentoring program to areas of need in New South Wales and Queensland. Top Blokes Foundation is piloting a licence arrangement as a cost-effective and sustainable form of regional expansion.

The Junior Top Blokes mentoring program is a 16-week interactive schools program that uses peer mentoring to tackle issues that teenage boys aged 14-17 struggle with including risk-taking, peer pressure and mental health - and aims to inspire young men to reach their potential.


For initiatives that support the mental health and wellbeing of rural and remote communities.

Rural and Remote Mental Health

Rural and Remote Mental Health (RRMH) develops and implements mental health awareness, prevention and early intervention programs for rural and remote Australians.

The NAB Foundation is providing funding to extend the Be Aware Out Here (BOAH) program to more Australians who live and work in rural and remote Australia. BAOH aims to create a hidden army of people within local communities who are empowered with the knowledge, understanding, and confidence to improve the mental health of themselves, their friends, loved ones and the community as a whole. By improving their own personal choices, having conversations about mental health and also delivering BAOH in their local communities, a long-term positive change can be achieved.

The training provides practical solutions to addressing the psychological, physical and financial impacts of droughts, floods, fires and any other adversity potentially faced by people living and/or working in rural and remote Australia. The practical information including, pathways to help and promoting help seeking behaviour, is provided in a format and language that rural people relate to and understand.

University of South Australia

The University of South Australia educates professionals and citizens to the highest standards, creates and disseminates knowledge and engages with communities to address the major issues of our time.

One of these challenges is the high prevalence of mental health issues and suicide among farmers as well as their difficulties in accessing mental health services in rural Australia. The NAB Foundation is supporting the University of South Australia to develop and test an online, self-help intervention with and for Australian farmers, to see if it helps them better cope with things beyond their control such as drought. The project builds on the team’s previous work that shows farmers who cope most successfully with drought are those who adopt ‘acceptance’ (and humour) as coping strategies.

The website will be a sustainable, cost-effective intervention that assists farmers who otherwise may not access support, to develop valuable coping skills. In turn, it aims to prevent the development of severe mental health problems and where necessary, prompt and help farmers to access to mental health treatment at an earlier stage.

Interested in being involved?

To be eligible to assist us with this work, a participant or their spouse must currently own or play an active role in the operation of a farming or pastoral enterprise in Australia, be fluent in English and have access to the internet.

To register your interest in participating in this or related rural-focused research, please click here.

Social inclusion

Please note: The NAB Foundation is currently closed for grant applications and does not accept unsolicited grant requests.

Previous grant recipients

The NAB Foundation under its previous name, MLC Community Foundation, is proud to have supported the following organisations in the work they do supporting and solving mental health issues.

2008 - 2016 Lifeline Australia
2004-2015 Garvan Research Foundation

Suicide Prevention Australia

R U OK? Foundation

2013 - 2014

Suicide Prevention Australia

Inspire Foundation 

RU OK? Foundation

MadCap Café

2012 - 2013

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia


Inspire Foundation

Jean Hailes for Women's Health

2011 - 2012

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia


Inspire Foundation

Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health

St Vincent de Paul's Society


YMCA Sydney

2010 - 2011

Black Dog Institute

Mind Australia

YMCA Sydney


Stillbirth Foundation

Camp Quality

2009 - 2010

Black Dog Institute

Mind Australia

YMCA Sydney

Youth Focus

2008 - 2009

Affirm- Australian Foundation for Mental Health Research

SANE Australia 

StepUP Foundaiton

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

The approach for our 2017 grants program is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed and communicated via this webpage in early 2017. If you would like to be added to the contact list for further information, when available, please email us at nabfoundation@nab.com.au.

NAB Foundation, ABN: 27 308 230 413