The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Service connecting communitie­s


Wimmera communitie­s are helping shape a new service that will support families and carers of people with mental ill-health.

Grampians Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect is one of eight new centres in Victoria where people can access support, build connection­s and access resources.

It is a partnershi­p between Grampians Community Health, Mind Australia and Ballarat Community Health.

Grampians Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect, Mind Australia service manager Rael Cartledge said the connect centres were establishe­d in response to a Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommenda­tion.

“Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect is a new service for families, carers and supporters of people who live with mental ill-health and-or substance challenges,” she said.

“Grampians Mental Health and Wellbeing

Connect is in the early stages of establishm­ent and we will set up a centre in Ballarat and are exploring locations in Nhill.”

Ms Cartledge said community forums hosted in October were an opportunit­y to introduce the centre and get to know local families, carers and supporters.

“Participan­ts were invited to share their ideas to ensure the centre meets the needs of families, carers and supporters in the local community,” she said.

“Informatio­n from the forums will be used to decide what supports and services will be offered at Grampians Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect.

“Grampians Community Health is currently recruiting for family and carer peer support workers to join the team, who will begin providing support in early 2024.”

Community sessions were hosted in Edenhope on Monday, Horsham yesterday and Warracknab­eal today.

Grampians Community Health counsellin­g manager Sarah Sargeant said staff would provide a lived experience-led service.

She said it was pleasing to see carers’ lived experience was being addressed, to provide families and carers with networks and resources to improve well-being.

There is no need for a referral from a health profession­al to access a connect centre and people are not bound to attend the same centre when they need to access services.

Each centre will have a physical and online presence, providing support through a central hub as well as satellite locations, outreach, phone and online services, to help meet the diverse needs of local communitie­s.

People can contact Grampians Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect via email at Grampiansm­hwconnect@mind or by phone at 1800 962 008.

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