In Welfare Services

Victoria Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge

Personal Support Package For Flood-Affected Victorians

Victor P Taffa

Victorians directly affected by the floods in the Northern and Western parts of the State now have access to a range of support services including generalist counselling, outreach support and service co-ordination, Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge announced today.

Ms. Wooldridge said the Coalition Government had approved extra spending of $1.55 Million over the next six months to help people recover from the Psychological Impact of the recent Victorian floods.

“We are already seeing positive steps towards recovery in our communities in Northern and Western Victoria, but we cannot underestimate the distress and trauma these floods have caused to individuals and communities.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“Victoria learned valuable lessons from the lasting impact of the 2009 bushfires, and we are better placed to understand the impact of the floods and how it could have an ongoing effect for some people.”

“These initiatives are designed to address and reduce the wide range of emotional trauma which people will experience, including intense distress, fear, grief, sadness, anger, uncertainty and insecurity.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

The Funding Will Provide:

• Preventative mental health services, including psychological first-aid at relief, recovery and temporary shelter centres;

• Community workshops addressing post-disaster mental health awareness, literacy and associated issues;

• A range of outreach support;

• Service co-ordination to support households to access services they need;

• Generalist counselling through community health services.

Ms. Wooldridge said these services have been put in place to ensure families get the services they need when they need them.

“It is important that residents and communities know that their government supports them and is working to help them recover from the floods.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“Professionals will be engaged from local areas, as they have an understanding of the challenges facing flood-affected Victorians and what they have experienced, and will be well-placed to help them.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

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