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$9 million investment in community driven programs for Northern Rivers

Date posted: 7 November 2017

The Indigenous Health Minister, Ken Wyatt, has announced $9.1 million in funding to community driven programs in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales (NSW), to tackle health challenges in the area, including substance use, mental health, suicide, and chronic disease.

Minister Wyatt said the funding, commissioned through the North Coast Primary Health Network (PHN), comprised $5.029 million for integrated team care, $2.095 million for drug and alcohol treatment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and $2.006 million for Indigenous mental health flexible funding. Minister Wyatt said the funding supported community driven projects, including mental health, alcohol and other drug services, where local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  people previously experienced challenges accessing support.

'This includes early intervention trial programs for people with co-existing drug and alcohol issues to encourage them to seek help early and remain connected with support,' said Minister Wyatt. 'New residential detox services allow Aboriginal men to reconnect with their history, culture and community, and a new health partnership is seeing Aboriginal people trained to become community leaders in suicide prevention.'

'There is a strong focus on early intervention in the fight against chronic disease, through programs that support Aboriginal people to attend medical appointments and ensure they receive coordinated and multidisciplinary care,' noted the Minister. 'Partnerships are also being funded to help identify the early signs of kidney disease which will improve the quality of life of Aboriginal people and reduce the need for dialysis treatment.'

Widespread cultural awareness training of health staff will also help clinicians to better understand how they can support the health needs of their Aboriginal patients when they attend medical clinics, which in turn may encourage people to seek treatment early.

Source: Northern Star, Minister Ken Wyatt Media Releases

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Last updated: 7 November 2017
 
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