Thursday, 19 September 2019

One of Victoria’s most respected alcohol and other drug support agencies has been appointed to run the Andrews Labor Government’s new youth residential rehabilitation service in the Latrobe Valley.

Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Harriet Shing today announced the modern 20-bed youth residential rehabilitation facility would be run by specialist agency Uniting Alcohol and Drug Services (through Uniting ReGen) in partnership with Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative.

Uniting Alcohol and Drug Services has been operating in Victoria since 1970, helping people of all ages access residential and non-residential treatment services including withdrawal, day programs, counselling, education and family programs.

The new 20 bed facility will help young people to address their alcohol and drug use, while developing skills that will help them to re-enter the community.

Qualified staff will provide 24-hour supervision through a live-in program targeting young people aged 16 to 21, who will engage in activities that support lasting behavioural change including social and life skills development, relapse prevention, individual counselling and group work.

A community drop-in session for locals is being planned later this year in partnership with the Latrobe Health Advocate and the Latrobe Health Assembly. Once details are finalised, residents across Traralgon will be able to come along to the session to see plans and find out more about the facility.

The Labor Government has invested more than $40 million to construct purpose-built residential rehabilitation facilities in regional areas including the Traralgon facility, and adult facilities in Barwon and Hume.

Once all beds are operational, about 900 more Victorians each year will be able to access rehabilitation services.

The Labor Government has made record investments in alcohol and other drugs services with $273.1 million in the 2019-20 Victorian Budget – a 65 per cent increase across the past five State Budgets.

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health Harriet Shing

“We know the devastating effect alcohol and other drugs can have on young people right across Victoria and especially in the Latrobe Valley.

“Locals across Gippsland have been asking for more help and I’m proud that the we’ve been able to deliver that – this facility will ensure our region’s young people get the treatment they need.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mentalh Health Martin Foley

“No matter where you live in Victoria, we are working to help more people who are battling addiction get the best care, closer to home and closer to family and friends.”