Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$16.7 million for mental health respite and carer support services

The Australian Government is providing an additional $16.7 million over three years for community mental health carer respite and increased family support services for people with a mental illness.

Sixteen National Respite Development Fund (NRDF) organisations across Australia will receive new funding to help develop and deliver coordinated, flexible and responsive respite, carer and family support services for people with a mental illness.

This funding will contribute to addressing unmet demand for respite and support services for carers of people with a mental illness in targeted areas of high need and for vulnerable groups, including Indigenous Australians.

This new funding will provide an additional 125,000 hours of respite and support to 3,500 carers and their families.

The additional funding recognises the need for carers and those they care for to have a short break, whether this means staying overnight in a respite service, a few hours enjoying recreational activities or linking in to support groups.

The nature of caring for people with mental illness is often misunderstood because of the episodic nature of the illness.

The funding will also provide education programs for family and friends of people with a mental illness to help them in their caring role.

These services recognise the unique issues of families, carers and care recipients, and their need for support in order to continue their caring responsibilities.

The Government will continue to help carers and families of people with a mental illness through its $1.9 billion commitment to the Council of Australian Government National Action Plan on Mental Health 2006-2011.

Organisation State Funding to 30 June 2011
Anglicare Sydney (Macarthur/Wollondilly & Wingecarribee) NSW $2,302,388
South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation NSW $1,568,177
The Richmond Fellowship of NSW NSW $491,700
Mallee Family Care Incorporated VIC $917,271
Peninsula Support Services Incorporated VIC $762,707
Queensland Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture & Trauma Inc QLD $1,009,815
Anglicare North Queensland Limited QLD $436,221
Supported Options in Lifestyle and Access Service Inc QLD $661,000
Carers NT Inc NT $878,590
Uniting Care West WA $295,091
LAMP Incorporated WA $721,672
Mental Illness Fellowship of Western Australia WA $2,453,640
Frontier Services WA $432,273
Bay of Isles Community Outreach Inc WA $1,541,396
Wanslea Family Services Inc WA $927,700
Mental Illness Fellowship of South Australia Inc. SA $1,341,000
Total $16,740,641