Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Boost for remote community mental health support services

Joint Media Release with:

  • Mark Butler MP
    Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
    Minister for Housing and Homelessness
    Minister for Social Inclusion
    Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

Mental health support service providers will be able to apply for more than $2.6 million to deliver services in five remote communities in South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia as part of the Personal Helpers and Mentors service initiative.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said the tender to provide additional services is part of the Gillard Government’s $154 million additional investment in this successful initiative.

“Our investment means that important new community mental health services will be expanded into Cunnamulla and Palm Island in Queensland, along with Halls Creek and Pilbara in Western Australia and Ceduna in South Australia,” Ms Macklin said.

“Successful providers will each receive around $500,000 per year to provide one-on-one practical support to people with severe mental illness.

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

Mr Butler said the funding is a key part of Labor’s record $2.2 billion mental health reforms being rolled out around the country.

“Since the program began in 2007, more than 21,000 people have accessed support from 175 Personal Helpers and Mentors services including 11 in remote communities around the country,” Mr Butler said.

“These services assist people who live with mental illness to build personal resilience and sustainably manage the impact of the illness in their lives.

“In addition to supporting individual participants, the remote Personal Helpers and Mentors services will also work to build the capacity of local communities to respond to mental health issues.”

The application process will open on Saturday 9 March 2013. To apply for funding, go to: