Suite of free mental health programs starting in Warwick
A NEW direction in local mental health funding has seen the recent implementation of group programs that will allow psychologists to help more people in Warwick.
Free programs designed to help residents build mental health skills and awareness are now available through the Centre For Healthy Living.
Counselling psychologist Jan Gudkovs said having free mental health services was essential in regional towns.
"Warwick is not one of your wealthy areas of the country and if people had to pay out of their own pocket it would become totally out of reach for them,” Mrs Gudkovs said.
"This is a way of providing equity across the country to areas of greater need.”
Four different group programs address specific areas of need including emotional wellbeing, chronic pain management, support for carers and social and performance anxiety.
Mrs Gudkovs said it was exciting to see more mental health services in the community.
"A group is very good way of getting support and input and we find that people usually who come to the groups are usually very supportive of each other,” she said.
"This is a bit of a change in direction because the government has seen mental health costs are rising fairly steeply and they have to contain those costs,” she said.
"This is one way of us being able to see more people in a way that is not going to have people out of pocket.”
To access the free programs, seek a referral and mental health care plan from your GP then contact the Centre For Healthy Living on 4661 3340.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by this story, you can get immediate help 24/7 - phone Lifeline on 131114 or beyondblue on 1300224636.