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Mental health help continues

A PROGRAM for people with a severe mental illness will continue in the Latrobe Valley for another three years after a $1,434,000 funding boost.

Mind Australia Gippsland Service regional manager Heather Thompson said the Federal Government’s funding announcement would ensure the Personal Helpers and Mentors Program would continue to help Valley residents.

Ms Thompson said it had been running for the past two years and had a lot of success due to the one-on-one support for people with a mental illness.

“The flexibility of bringing the service to the client and the focus on helping them achieve their own goals is part of the program’s success,” Ms Thompson said.

She said there were 100 clients in the region sufferring illness such as depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, with secondary issues like homelessness and financial trouble.

The Federal Government said the program worked on building confidence and increasing connections within the community.

Meanwhile the Mental Health Council of Australia is urging state premiers to include mental health in any negotiated health reform plan with the Commonwealth. The council said states and territories had halved the number of community based mental health treatment beds over the last 15 years.

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