Wimmera Gets Extra Mental Health Outreach Support

23 June 2020

More Victorians in the Wimmera Southern Mallee will get the mental health support they need closer to home, family and friends, with a funding boost from the Victorian Government.

Minister for Mental Health Marin Foley today announced an additional $300,000 for the Rural Outreach Program, which helps people struggling with psychological distress get access to the supports they need locally.

The program is delivered by Edenhope And District Memorial Hospital and coordinated by Wimmera Primary Care Partnership. The extra funding will mean three community based Rural Outreach Workers will respond to the immediate needs of people across the Wimmera Southern Mallee Shires for a further 12 months.

Since the program started in December 2018, 300 local residents have been assisted, with 63 per cent of outreach services provided in the client’s home. Importantly for regional and rural communities, barriers like travelling long distances and waiting for appointments have been reduced, with almost half of clients seen within 24 hours.

The Rural Outreach team has quickly established themselves as a trusted program, developing strong partnerships across many health and community service providers including the Royal Flying Doctors Service Wellbeing program, Rural Financial counselling service, Uniting Wimmera, Grampians Community Health, Wimmera Southern Mallee Health Services, Bush Nursing Centres and Local Governments.

The Government also recently announced an extra $19.5 million to deliver the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System interim report, including funding to support its dedicated workforce and the continued rollout of suicide prevention programs across the state.

This investment comes on top of the $59.4 million coronavirus mental health package to help meet demand as more Victorians reach out for help with stress, isolation and uncertainty during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

The package included additional funding for Beyond Blue, Lifeline, Kids Help Line and the Suicide Call-back line to boost capacity so that any Victorian, no matter where they live, can speak to someone and get the help they need.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

No matter where you live, Victorians should have access to the mental health services they need, through both telehealth and face to face support.”

“We remain more determined than ever to deliver a coordinated, quality mental health system that will support Victorians, their families and ultimately save lives.”

Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford

“The team of dedicated outreach workers are here to help when times get tough, when you need a trusted person to talk with, need support and guidance, or help in navigating the mental health system.”

Reviewed 26 June 2020

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