File image: Lismore Family Relationship Centre manager Julie Leete (front) with (rear from left) Anthony Smith, of the Federal Magistrates Court, and family dispute practitioners Judith Rodrom and Tony Madden.
File image: Lismore Family Relationship Centre manager Julie Leete (front) with (rear from left) Anthony Smith, of the Federal Magistrates Court, and family dispute practitioners Judith Rodrom and Tony Madden. Jay Cronan

$1.6M funding boost for mental health service

INTERRELATE North Coast manager Julie Leete said she was delighted when she was told her mental health service would receive a funding boost of $1.6 million.

She said the Federal Government funding would allow the organisation to expand its Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) program to Ballina, Kyogle and Richmond Valley areas.

"Demand in the Richmond Valley area for this program is high but all we have only previously been able to offer an outreach service," Ms Leete said.

"The program assists people who are vulnerable and experiencing mental health issue and need support."

Working with employment agency Tursa, the program supports people manage their daily lives, help them access services like accommodation and welfare, build their self-reliance and increases their level of community participation.

The program has been running successfully in Lismore, but with the additional funding Interrelate can now employ five additional Personal Helpers and Mentors.

Page MP Janelle Saffin, who made the funding announcement, said PHaMs took into account not just mental health issues, but any additional physical and emotional well-being issues that affect mental health recovery.

"It is particularly important for people to have access to these kinds of programs in country areas," she said.

"The PHaMs program has already helped tens of thousands of Australians to lead more fulfilling lives, and I know it will help many local people to participate in community life."


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