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Bairnsdale, Traralgon and Wonthaggi to share in $54M funding for Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect Centres

The Andrews Labor government in Victoria, Australia, has opened Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect Centres, the first of their kind in the country, supporting caregivers of loved ones with mental health issues.

By news@gippsland - 7th September 2023 - Back to News

More than 60,000 Victorians care for a loved one living with mental illness, and the Andrews Labor government is giving them the support they need - with new Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect Centres now open across Victoria. Delivering on a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System, these services are the first of their kind in Australia, supporting the mental health and quality of life of caregivers when supporting someone with mental health challenges, illness, psychological distress, or addiction.

With a $54 million investment, new hubs are being established, joining existing locations across the state that will help support families and carers

With a $54 million investment, new hubs are being established, joining existing locations across the state that will help support families and carers

Community support hubs

Recognising these Victorians are often unable to work and without adequate support, the centres offer a welcoming and accessible space, available without need for a referral - giving those with care responsibilities access to a range of services, including information, networks, resources, and hardship funds.
Made possible by a more than $54 million investment by the Labor government, the initiative will be new hubs opened in Bairnsdale, Traralgon, as well as a satellite hub in Wonthaggi.

They join a number of other sites including locations in Bendigo, Dandenong, Geelong, Mildura, Shepparton Swan Hill, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Wodonga, and across metropolitan Melbourne. Backed by a workforce of more than 140 people offering lived experience in supporting people with mental health or addiction-related illness, the centres were also co-designed with families, carers, and supporters.

Each hub and satellite location will also provide outreach, phone, and online services to meet the diverse needs of the community. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect Centres are part of a $93 million investment to support families and carers - bringing the Labor government's overall investment in the mental health and wellbeing system to more than $6 billion since the Royal Commission report was handed down.

Local caregiver support

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said, "The findings from our Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System have highlighted the importance of local and accessible support for the thousands of people who care for Victorians living with a mental or addiction-related illness."

"That's why these new centres across Gippsland are so important - they build on the work we're doing to provide more beds and more local services, by supporting those caregivers who give so much of themselves to help others," Ms Shing said.

Supporting mental health carers

Minister for Mental Health Gabrielle Williams said, "We are so often focused on supporting those living with mental illness that we forget to check on the people caring for them - caregiving can be a challenging job, so it is vital we make sure carers are well supported."

"These centres play an important role in not only promoting a better quality of life for caregivers, but also offering practical services, including advice, connection to support networks and access to hardship funds," said Ms Williams.

Pictures from Living Well Latrobe Facebook page.


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