Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has secured $22,440 from the Gippsland Primary Health Network to allow the Rotary Club of Traralgon and Lifeline to provide mental health training to members of the local community.
Mr Chester wrote to the Gippsland Primary Health Network earlier this year after attending a youth Mental Health First Aid course and saw firsthand the importance of early intervention and how treatment can reduce the duration and impact of mental illness.
The Federal Government provided Gippsland Primary Health Network with $2.5 million in funding, over two years, from 2018-19, through the Empowering Our Communities funding program.
Mr Chester said the aim of the Mental Health First Aid program is to reduce mental health problems, including suicide, through education, early intervention and social inclusion.
“The funding will provide training to up to 250 individuals across Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.
“Mental health issues effects the entire community, providing training will not only increase awareness, but also provide individuals with skills to handle situations as they arise.”
Mr Chester said sadly, one in four young people aged 16 to 24 experience mental illness in any given year. Early intervention and treatment can reduce the duration and impact of mental illness.
“Having members of sporting clubs and community organisations trained and knowledgeable about mental health with help those who are struggling to find support and not feel or become isolated from others,” Mr Chester said.
“I congratulate the Rotary Club and Lifeline for this initiative and for working with the community to combat mental illness.”