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Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Supporting people with mental illness in Palm Island

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan McLucas
    Senator for Queensland

People with severe mental illness in Palm Island will have greater access to support services and other practical assistance thanks to more than $1.5 million in funding for Supported Options in Lifestyle and Access Services Inc (SOLAS).

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin and Queensland Senator, Jan McLucas said the new funding and support was part of a $4.1 million boost for remote sites under the Labor Government’s Personal Helpers and Mentors program (PHaMs).

“The Labor Government is investing more than $1.5 million over three years to 30 June 2016 for SOLAS to deliver much needed mental health support through a new PHaMs site in Palm Island,” Ms Macklin said.

“This investment will see five new personal helpers and mentors employed, who will provide practical assistance for around 45 people with mental illness on the island.

“The new service will offer one-to-one and ongoing culturally sensitive support to help people with mental illness to participate economically and socially in the community.

“By building confidence and increasing connections within the community, personal helpers and mentors can help participants overcome social isolation.

“Personal helpers and mentors can also help people set and achieve goals, such as finding stable housing, improving their relationships with family and friends, and finding and keeping a job.”

Senator McLucas congratulated SOLAS on being selected to deliver this important service to the Palm Island community.

“SOLAS already delivers a successful PHaMs service in Townsville and has strong connections with the Palm Island community. I’m pleased it will be able to expand its existing services with this new site,” Senator McLucas said.

“The program also offers training and opportunities for local people to undertake PHaMs team roles which will provide more jobs for remote communities.

“This new funding builds on the 175 PHaMs services currently operating across the country and is part of this Government’s historic $2.2 billion national investment in mental health reform.”