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Boost to drug, alcohol and Indigenous mental health treatment in Hunter and Manning regions

Date posted: 13 April 2017

Treatment for alcohol and drug use (including ice), and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health services across the Hunter and Manning regions of New South Wales are being improved with nearly $2.8 million in Commonwealth funding.

Federal Assistant Health Minister and Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie, said the Hunter, New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN), funded by the Australian Government, will direct the funds to fill gaps in local health services.

This follows extensive consultation with a variety of local groups which identified the need for more services for people with drug and alcohol problems, and culturally appropriate mental health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

'Tackling alcohol and drug misuse, including ice, and mental illness are major priorities for our government,' Minister Gillespie said. 'We are not only making a significant investment in the law enforcement and drug detection in our fight against drugs, but we are also investing record funding in the health sector to support important initiatives that help communities tackle their own local challenges.'

HNECC PHN Chief Executive, Richard Nankervis, said Hunter Primary Care and New Horizons have been chosen to provide the bulk of the new programs. 'The aim of these programs is to provide the community with health services that are joined up, integrated, culturally appropriate and safe,' Mr Nankervis said. 'These new Indigenous mental health programs will for the first time be holistically designed to suit local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.'

A care coordination service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with severe mental illness will be provided by Hunter Primary Care’s Indigenous Mental Health Care Coordination Program, named Yudhildin.

New Horizons will provide peer and group based programs (such as early intervention groups) focused on recovery and connecting with Elders to share positive practices, health education, mentoring and arts therapy.

Source: Department of Health

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Last updated: 13 April 2017
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute