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Applications open for new mental health funding in Wakefield

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Friday 09 November 2012

Applications open for new mental health funding in Wakefield

Local community organisations can start applying for funding from the Gillard Government to employ new mental health workers for the region, Federal Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion announced today.

The Gillard Government is investing $154 million to expand its successful Personal Helpers and Mentors initiative, with the latest stage providing funding for about 230 new mental health workers to support more than 40 communities across the country, including in Mallala.

“I’ve seen the great work personal helpers and mentors are already doing in our community, providing practical, one-on-one support to local people with severe mental illness,” Nick Champion said.

“These dedicated workers help locals set achieve and achieve personal goals, including finding work, stable housing and improving relationships with family and friends.

“We are expanding this program because we know it works and I’m encouraging community organisations in Wakefield to apply for this new round.

The Personal Helpers and Mentors initiative has been running since 2007 and has helped 2289 people in South Australia find strategies to cope with mental illness and improve their lives.

Nick Champion said the workers also connect people with clinical and social services in the area, and many will now have a special focus on helping people to find and keep a job.

“Having a job and being able to participate in society, both economically and socially, can make a huge difference in the lives of people with mental illness.

“But having a mental illness can make it very difficult to attend training, get an education, or find work.

“By building confidence and increasing their participation in all aspects of community life, personal helpers and mentors help participants overcome the social isolation that can be so crippling for someone with a mental illness.”

Media Release Nick Champion MP Federal Member for Wakefield

Nick Champion said this latest investment is part of the Gillard Government’s unprecedented $2.2 billion investment in mental health services, announced in May last year.

“The Government is continuing to deliver on its promise to make mental health a priority so that people in Wakefield with mental illness are getting the care and support they need, when they need it.

“I want to see our local organisations putting their hand up for these new personal helpers and mentors so we can keep building on this good work.”

For more information, or to apply for funding, go to:

Media Contact: Mathew Werfel 8284 2422 - 0417 805 384

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