Feb 27, 2009

Personal help on the road to recovery

Personal help on the road to recovery

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 27 2009

The Personal Helpers and Mentors program will now be available in Grayndler with extra funding of more than $3.5 million from the Australian Government.

Three organisations, Aftercare, Neami and New Horizons Enterprises, will be providing the service in different parts of the local area to help people with a severe mental illness. Each organisation will receive $1,210,800 to provide funding for five full-time equivalent positions.

The Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese, welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin.

“The program assists people who cannot manage their daily activities or live independently in the community because of the impact of having a severe mental illness,” Anthony Albanese said.

“It’s very important to provide as much support as we can for people who have a severe mental illness.”

Personal Helpers and Mentors work one-on-one with participants, focusing on their strengths and building trust and strong relationships to help them gain greater independence.

This can be achieved through home visits, social outings or meetings where the participant feels most comfortable.

“Mental illness can have a devastating effect, leaving people feeling isolated, vulnerable and at risk of increased drug and alcohol use,” Ms Macklin said.

“By building their confidence and increasing their connections within the community, Personal Helpers and Mentors help participants overcome social isolation that can be so crippling for people with mental illness.”

The Government has committed $284.8 million from 2006-2011 for the program, with 76 sites currently operating around the country, including 41 in metropolitan areas and 35 in rural and regional locations.

This extra funding will increase the number of sites by 79 to 155 across the country.