IF elected, a Coalition Government will invest $350,000 in the Mental Illness Fellowship NQ Inc for the establishment of a Clubhouse in what is a major boost for mental health services in the region.
A Clubhouse is a place where people with mental illness can meet with their peers in a supportive environment that provides access to employment and pre-employment activities, improved housing access, social ventures, social activities, peer support, mentoring, life skills development and a range of self-directed activities.
The funding will enable the Mental Illness Fellowship NQ (MIFNQ), in conjunction with a local committee chaired by Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jim Henry, to establish this internationally acknowledged service alongside the existing Cairns Mental Health Carers Support Hub.
Thrilled with the news: (L-R) Mental health consultant Marc Harris, MIFNQ’s Adrianne Hicks and Warren Entsch.
“This is fabulous news for local families who are deeply impacted by mental health issues and who have suffered under the current Government’s piecemeal approach to mental health care,” said Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.
“This is a very successful model based on other clubhouses from overseas and around Australia. The holistic approach is an innovative way of supporting people facing the challenges of mental illness, particularly in regional areas.”
Shadow Minister for Ageing and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, said she was very pleased to be able to make the funding commitment with Mr Entsch.
“The Clubhouse will play an important role in promoting and supporting people with a mental illness by providing a safe environment that encourages their social inclusion within our community,” said Senator Fierravanti-Wells.
International and Australian research from nearly 400 clubhouses over more than 60 years indicates membership of a Clubhouse significantly improves people’s health and well-being, increases employment, reduces hospitalisation and social isolation, and supports a person’s recovery. Members operate the facility with some assistance from workers.
The Cairns-based committee formed to develop a local Clubhouse is auspiced by the Mental Illness Fellowship North Queensland and is being assisted by the International Centre for Clubhouse Development, which works as a global advocacy and support network.
Mr Entsch congratulated the committee, in particular Justice Jim Henry and the Mental Illness Fellowship’s Adrianne Hicks, for their advocacy in driving this initiative.
Ms Hicks described the Coalition’s investment as “wonderful news” for people living with a mental illness.
“It will help people get back on their feet by providing a positive environment of self-help and peer support, which will go a long way to reduce the burden on the health system,” Ms Hicks said.
“Mr Entsch is to be congratulated for his ongoing support for those who live with mental illness; it is heartening to see a politician with a personal commitment to a worthy cause, not just a policy statement.
“As the Manager of the Cairns Mental Health Carers Support Hub can I say ‘thank you’ on behalf of the many families in Cairns and surrounding rural communities impacted by mental illness.”
To find out more about MIFNQ, click here