Tesch calls for funding for mental health organisation

Gosford MP Liesl Tesch in her home office. Archive April, 2020

Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch has called for continued funding for Youth Arafmi, an organisation which supports people caring for a family member with mental illness.

“These people care for a family member who has been affected by or lives with a mental illness including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other forms of distress, or is affected by mental illness in their family in some other way.

“Arafmi provides needs assessments, counselling, advocacy as well as liaison and referral to other services.”

“Arafmi funding finished at the end of June with no organisation ready to take its place and no handover for clients, leaving vulnerable individuals and families without support.”

Ms Tesch said the cuts were short-sighted and would have flow-on effects for individuals and families.

“Every dollar invested in early intervention and improving mental health creates social and economic benefits,” she said.

Central Coast Local Health District chief executive Dr Andrew Montague said there had been no cuts to youth mental health funding on the Central Coast.

“The District is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people with a mental illness,” he said.

But the District was calling for expressions of interest from organisations to provide clinical therapy services.

“Arafmi is welcome to respond to the expression of interest when released,” Dr Montague said.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Mr Adam Crouch has expressed support for the tendering process.

“Arafmi has been invited to submit an expression of interest to perform this work on behalf of Central Coast Local Health District.

“This is the normal process and I absolutely have faith in the ability of Dr Montague and his team to make decisions that put our region’s health care needs first,” Mr Crouch said.

Media release, 30 June 2020
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford
Media statements, 26 Jun 2020
Andrew Montague, CCLHD
Media release, 3 Jul 2020
Adam Crouch, PS for CC

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