Three people discussing while sitting. Two men stand away in the background looking at a computer


The MIND the GaP initiative is led by the University of Wollongong and Shoalhaven City Council to addresses the innovation challenge of improving the mental wellbeing of communities. This is to be achieved by enhancing community support and preventative mental health care through the translation of research innovations into applied science. We work with a consortium of partners (listed below) and private practitioners to achieve this.

MIND the GaP Partners

The Shoalhaven City Council covers 4,531 km2 from south of Gerroa to North Durras on the coast, including 165 kilometres of coastline. Our population has a strong sense of community, a desire to help one another, is friendly, welcoming and caring.

Council's mission states that, "We will work together in the Shoalhaven to foster a safe and attractive community for people to live, work, stay and play; where sustainable growth, development and environmental protection are managed to provide a unique and relaxed lifestyle."

With a population of 109,611 living in 49 towns and villages, the Shoalhaven is thriving. Between 2016 and 2026, the age structure forecasts for Shoalhaven City indicate a 13.5% increase in population under working age, a 21.6% increase in population of retirement age, and a 3.3% increase in population of working age. Our community needs not only a healthy lifestyle but also a healthy community.

Shoalhaven City Council

The University of Wollongong (UOW) has become a benchmark for Australia’s new generation of universities. It is ranked among the top modern universities in the world and has built a reputation as an enterprising institution, with a multi-disciplinary approach to research and a personalised approach to teaching. * Ranked 14th in the QS Top 50 Under 50 Rankings 2021.

With four faculties including Business and Law, Engineering and Information Sciences, the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, and Science, Medicine and Health, UOW currently offers over 300 degree programs across both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to more than 32,000 students around the world.

UOW is recognised as a global leader in discovery and learning and embraces both technology and practical learning to maximise student success. The University works in tandem with community partners to enable learning through immersion in the workforce and it collaborates with educators, professionals, researchers and students to inform when, how and why students learn. UOW is consistently adapting to changing workforce needs and new industries, offering face-to-face learning, distance education and online courses.

University of Wollongong

COORDINARE, as the South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network (PHN), works directly with GPs, other primary health care providers, secondary health care providers and hospitals to improve and better coordinate care across the local health system for patients requiring care from multiple providers or at risk of poor health outcomes.

Mental health and suicide prevention is therefore a key priority for COORDINARE. The organisation is currently involved in the MIND the GaP initiative, as well as the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative, which consists of representatives of more than 30 significant organisations, all working together to address the unacceptably high rates of suicide within the region.


Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) covers the area from Helensburgh to North Durras and services a growing population of over 400,000 residents.

Our purpose is to provide best practice health care and programs that promote the health and wellbeing of people in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.

ISLHD is one of the region's largest employers with a workforce of more than 8,500 employees across eight hospital sites and 58 community health service locations across the region.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Somewhere in Australia, there is a new call to Lifeline every 30 seconds.

Lifeline South Coast was established in Wollongong in March 1969 and the Nowra branch was opened in 1981. Our service area spans the coastal strip between Helensburgh in the north to the Victorian border in the south.

In 2021-22, we answered over 31,500 calls on the 13 11 14 and related crisis lines. Lifeline South Coast operates five crisis support phones from Wollongong and four crisis support phones from MIND the GaP in the Shoalhaven. The service is non-denominational, and Telephone Crisis Supporters come from a wide range of backgrounds.

Training in suicide prevention and awareness, domestic and family violence, mental health and accidental counsellor is provided throughout our service area to organisations and individuals.

Our Lifeline Shops (Wollongong, Corrimal and Nowra) and Big Book Fairs ensure the financial viability of this vital service into the future. 

Lifeline South Coast

Lifeline Research Foundation creates new knowledge, as well as engaging in public education, awareness building and advocacy in relation to suicide prevention. One of the Foundation’s key functions is to conduct research that informs the development of effective, evidence-based programs to support Lifeline’s vision for an Australia free of suicide. The systematic process of research ‘translation’, or implementation science, creates an essential link between research and practical outcomes for people seeking help and crisis supporters. 

Lifeline Research Australia

Noah's Inclusion Services is a community-based, NDIS registered Service Provider, not for profit organisation. Our vision is to create a community where every child belongs and is given every opportunity to thrive.

Since 1981, we have been working with children of all abilities and their families to provide excellence in early childhood education, therapy, and support.

We provide therapy, education and support for children, young people, their families and carers so they are included and can participate meaningfully in their home, early childhood centre, school and community.

Noah's Inclusion Services