Local, Independant and Effective
December 17, 2018

$2.7m for Mental Health Services in Wangaratta

Federal Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan said securing $2.7m for mental health services in Wangaratta was a fantastic example of community action.

The funding will provide $1.2m for the Rural City of Wangaratta’s Grit and Resilience Program and a further $1.5m for headspace Albury Wodonga to provide a service in Wangaratta.

Speaking as the funding was announced today, Sunday, 16 December, at Merriwa Park in Wangaratta, Ms McGowan highlighted the community’s effort in securing the funding.

“Earlier this year Councillor Harvey Benton brought the issue of suicide and mental health service gaps in Wangaratta to light at a mobile phone tower launch in Everton. He asked me, ‘what are you going do about it?’ Since then, enormous community action and partnerships with local and federal government has brought this funding to Wangaratta,” Ms McGowan said.

“Councillors Dave Fuller and Ashlee Fitzpatrick and Council’s Director Community Wellbeing, Jaime Chubb worked together to create the Grit and Resilience program, organise meetings with my office and then with Minister for Health, Greg Hunt. They are to be commended for identifying a local problem, creating a solution and then presenting that solution to the Minister when seeking funding. I look forward to seeing how the Grit and Resilience program grows.”

Ms McGowan said the benefits of the funding would be wide reaching.

“Not only have we got $2.7m, we’ve got a commitment for health services, councils and headspace to work together to provide much needed support for mental health in Wangaratta,” Ms McGowan said.

"This is an excellent beginning. We will continue to work to grow the service and meet the needs of not only Wangaratta but all surrounding communities.”

If you or anyone you know needs mental health help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.

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