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More Mental Health Support For Benalla Community

The Andrews Labor Government is increasing its support for mental health services in the Benalla community.

Building on the initiatives of the Benalla Rural City Council, the Labor Government is establishing a dedicated phone line to provide information and better connect the local community to mental health support services.

Visiting Benalla today, Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announced the service would support the work the council had initiated with its Benalla Connect website, enabling residents to speak with a support person before being referred to a local mental health service provider.

This additional assistance is in response to calls from the Mayor Justin King, Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes and community members for greater mental health support.

The Government will also provide an additional $130,000 for clinical mental health services including increased services for children and additional community mental health services in Benalla.

This is part of the additional $356 million in mental health and drug treatment funding announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, which will help deliver the Government’s 10-year Mental Health Plan.

Benalla will receive funding as part of the recently announced $1.5 million mental health assistance package to support dairy farmers and their families, including extra counselling services and funding for local coordination and response activities.

The Government will work with a range of partners to coordinate investment and support across the broader Benalla community so that when people need help, they know what is available and where to get it.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

Nearly half of all Victorians will experience a mental health illness in their lifetime. Each year, one in five Victorians experiences mental illness.

“Benalla Rural City Council is to be congratulated for taking the initiative and recognising that its community has been doing it tough. The creation of its new website will be invaluable for this community.”

Quotes attributable to the Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes

“I’m glad that we are able to support the work of the Council and the Benalla community by establishing this phone referral service.”

“This is about providing a community approach to mental health, working together to support each other in a time of need.”