$485,000 to improve support for those living with mental illness

Media Release

More mental health support has come to the western Victoria region with new funding to help those living with or at risk of mild mental illness.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) has allocated $485,000 of Commonwealth funding to disability, ageing and community service organisation, genU, to develop and deliver this program across all western Victoria until 30 June 2022. This includes the Ballarat, Geelong, Horsham, and Warrnambool regional centres.

WVPHN Chief Executive Officer Rowena Clift said the aim of this funding is to design a support service that will be an easy-to-access option for those in the community who are at risk of mental ill-health and do not require more intensive support.

“The net of mental health support has again been cast wider as this low-intensity support will catch those individuals who perhaps are only just starting to struggle or have been dealing with persistent mental illness such as mild depression,” Ms Clift said.

“For such members of our community, we wanted to provide a service that can be accessed quickly, without the need for a formal referral, easily and efficiently. This will provide relief for our mental health workforce and look to curb the progression of mild mental illnesses into something more severe in need of more intensive care.”

Low intensity services include face-to-face, group work, telephone and digital interventions, such as video conferencing and other resources.

genU Chief Executive Officer, Clare Aimes said: “genU recognises the past year has been a challenge, and the mental health of the communities we operate in is more important than ever. We are pleased to be working with Western Victoria Primary Health Network to offer low intensity mental health support as a complement to our existing services in disability, aged care and employment services. This new service will allow genU to support more people across western Victoria to live their best lives.”

“genU will provide mental health support via a variety of flexible service options including telehealth, digital and face-to-face sessions. These services are available to people in the local community looking for entry level mental health support and are suitable for adults of all ages and abilities.”