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beyondblue commends govt support for mental health

13 September, 2007

beyondblue: the national depression initiative commends the Australian Government’s commitment to improving mental health awareness and increasing services in rural and regional Australia following the launch of a $10.1 million program.

The Mental Health Support for Drought Affected Communities Initiative, launched by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing Senator Brett Mason, will be implemented in partnership with the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) and beyondblue.

Under this initiative, eligible Divisions of General Practice in drought affected communities will engage a Community Support Worker to provide crisis counselling and community outreach.

beyondblue will further expand its work in raising awareness of depression, anxiety and related drug and alcohol problems in rural communities.

beyondblue chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Australian General Practice Network, rural doctors and local rural agencies to provide information and mental health support to communities which are doing it tough during the prolonged drought.”

“This is the next step in our campaign to let people in the bush know that help for depression is available. People shouldn’t think it’s a sign of weakness. Depression can affect anyone at any time and the sooner you get the right treatment, the sooner you’re on the road to recovery.”

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