Supporting people with mental illness in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven

12 April 2013

Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird and Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly welcomed the announcement of $1.47million in Federal Government funding to increase support services and practical assistance for people with severe mental illness in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.

The $1.47million boost in services is part of the Government’s record $2.2billion national mental health reforms.

The Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW Inc (SFNSW) is set to benefit with new Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) employment workers coming onboard to assist people with severe mental illness build their capacity to find work and stay better connected with their local community.

The new PHaMs employment sites are located in Bulli, Nowra, and Moruya.

“The Federal Government is delivering practical assistance to help people with mental illness achieve their goals”, Ms Bird said.

“This assistance will better equip people with severe mental illness to participate more fully in their work and their local community, develop better relationships with family and friends, and manage their everyday tasks,”.

The PHaMs employment model has been carefully developed by the Federal Government to assist the many people with a mental illness who wish to rejoin the Australian workforce.

“PHaMs is a terrific initiative that ensures participants can access support that is appropriate to their needs”, Dr Kelly said.

“I am delighted that our Government is continuing to support the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW Inc with this $1.47million grant, as well as $1.62million in new funding for their services across the Bega Valley, Bombala, Snowy River and Cooma-Monaro.

“We are firmly committed to working with service providers in making sure people with mental illness in regional areas have access to the best care and opportunities available.”

This assistance builds upon the significant investment the Federal Government has already made in the areas of mental health respite, carer support and family mental health support services.