New federal funding for mental health service

ON TUESDAY federal Families Minister Jenny Macklin visited Penrith to announce a $1million funding for a new mental health service.

Break Thru People Solutions, which trains people with disabilities, will operate the service.

It targets young people, particularly children, who experience or are at risk of mental illness.

Ms Macklin said it complemented the new disability insurance scheme, or DisabilityCare.

‘‘Expert advice estimates that DisabilityCare could create up to 90,000 new jobs nationally, and 1100 in Lindsay, by 2020,’’ the minister said.

Lindsay MP David Bradbury congratulated Break Thru for winning the government contract.

‘‘I’ve always thought ‘Break Thru’ was a great name; if you can break through life’s barriers and get on with the job you can get to have a good life,’’ Mr Bradbury said.

‘‘This will benefit many families in this region.’’

Break Thru’s chief operating officer Danielle Ballantine said the program would help more people than clients with mental illnesses.

‘‘Carers can re-enter the workforce, knowing their children are getting support,’’ Ms Ballantine said.

‘‘People with mental illnesses themselves will have more opportunities to not only socially participate but to economically participate.’’

Break Thru’s Hoda Kobessi said existing services had already helped one family where the father was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

‘‘Assistance was provided with psycho-education, sometimes working directly with children, helping with their homework and getting them to understand their father’s mental illness,’’ Ms Kobessi said.

‘‘Relationships with their father were strengthened so the father and his family responded better to each other’s needs.’’

She said an expanded mental health service could only create more stories with such positive endings. 

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