Holistic approach to mental health issues

A NEW approach to dealing with mental health in the Manning has been launched through the Partners in Recovery program.

Run locally by Richmond PRA (RPRA), the program includes a number of different local service providers all working together for an holistic approach to recovery outcomes for severe and persistent mental illness and complex needs.

Local support facilitators have been put in place to help people plan their recovery, assist with access to the right combination of services, coordinate the services people need to recover and enhance relationships and understanding across service sectors.

The program was launched at Manning Regional Art Gallery with acting Hunter Medicare Local CEO Bryan McLoughlin addressing the crowd, as well as Neil Mawson, services manager at RPRA.

The program has been federally funded and is part of a national rollout currently happening across the country.

Bryan said it's an exciting time for the community after months of planning to get the local program up and running.

"There is a real need for something like this to be introduced here that will help to fill in the gaps for people with mental illness," explained Bryan.

"Every person will have a program tailored to meet their individual needs under the blanket of services that are available to them.

"This might include finding them accomodation, helping them get access to different services - it's a complete umbrella, an holistic approach."

Bryan added that the community will only continue to benefit through this new partnership with the combined wealth and knowledge of all the service providers.

"We're going to give people and their families help where they need it most," he said.

"Unfortunately, we are all aware of instances and times when the existing health, support and social systems do not appropriately support the

people and carers who are in the greatest need within our community."

"We often hear of people who have "fallen through the gaps" or "have disengaged with the system", yet in reality it is just that the current arrangements for the provision of services for people with severe mental illness means it has become too hard and complex to access services".

Richmonda PRA is based in Newcastle and the company has spent many years working in local communities to help people on their mental health recovery journey.

Services manager Neil Mawson said the Partners in Recovery program fitted perfectly with his organisation's values and he was looking forward to helping the Manning Great Lakes communities.

"We're really excited and extremely pleased to be joining the PIR program in the Manning and Great Lakes," Neil said.

"We're focused on actively engaging people, helping them to find and keep jobs, to find a place to call home, that's what recovery is all about, assisting in all aspects of people's lives."

Anyone wanting to find out more about Partners in Recovery or how to access help themselves can visit www.hunterpir.com.au or phone 1300 656 608.

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