More local support for people with mental illness

More people with severe mental illness in the Illawarra will have access to practical support services as part of an $8.1 million boost from the Gillard Government.

Sharon Bird, Member for Cunningham, and Stephen Jones, Member for Throsby, are pleased to announce that Neami Limited in Wollongong, will receive $864,000 to employ two new mental health workers and extend their existing services under the Government’s successful Personal Helpers and Mentors initiative.

“This extra support for mental health services in the Illawarra is part of an unprecedented $2.2 billion investment by the Federal Government into mental health services across the country,” Sharon Bird said.

“Personal helpers and mentors provide practical and intensive support to local people with mental illness and help them to set and achieve personal goals.

“They can help local people find suitable housing, to look for work, or to help them improve their relationships with family and friends.”

Stephen Jones said the new workers were the first of 425 new personal helpers and mentors to be supported by the Gillard Government over the next five years under the national mental health reform package.

“By working with mentors, people with mental illness can build their confidence, improve their health and wellbeing and increase connections with their community,” Sharon Bird said.

“Having these new mental health workers in the Illawarra means more local people with mental illness getting the care and support they need, when they need it.”