Wednesday, 3 April 2019

The Andrews Labor Government is standing with Gippsland communities doing it tough due to recent fires and ongoing drought.

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley today visited the hard-working staff with local Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing and volunteers at Lifeline Gippsland to thank them for the important role they play helping locals facing crisis and needing mental health support.

The recent bushfire and ongoing drought can have an impact on the mental health of locals – and can act as a trigger for those who have experienced devastating events in the past.

The Government is providing Lifeline Gippsland with $50,000 to bolster its bushfire and drought recovery response and provide additional support to residents across the Gippsland region who have been affected by the bushfires, including through school and workplace visits and increased presence at recovery centres and community events.

Now in its 50th year, Lifeline Gippsland is one of 40 Lifeline services across Australia forming a highly-trained national network of crisis responders.

2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the devastating Black Saturday bushfires. These fires took a terrible toll on thousands of Victorians, and can still trigger mental health concerns for many people today.  Lifeline provides 24-hour telephone counselling, information and a referral service which is available seven days a week. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.

The Labor Government has also committed $300,000 in additional grant funding for mental health support services across Gippsland for programs and initiatives that help support those affected by fire and drought. The grants close on Friday.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“It’s been an incredibly tough time for many Gippsland communities. We’re standing with them, providing the mental health support services that they need, when they need it most.”

“Lifeline Gippsland’s workers and volunteers play a critical role helping people in crisis. On behalf of all locals, I thank them for their committed work.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes 

“Our Gippsland community has been doing it incredibly tough – from unprecedented drought conditions to bushfires, but we know Gippslanders are resilient and we will support you every step of the way.” 

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Locals may be struggling with their mental health not just because of this year’s fires, but because they may be reliving similar dreadful experiences from the past. We’re so proud of Lifeline Gippsland and all of the committed mental health services across our region – they are pillars of our community.”