Wimmera Uniting Care to hire more mental health workers

Wimmera Uniting Care will hire more mental health workers. Picture: FILE PIC

Wimmera Uniting Care will hire more mental health workers. Picture: FILE PIC

WIMMERA Uniting Care will hire more mental health workers.

The State Government has appointed the organisation the lead agency, with Uniting Care Ballarat, for mental health services throughout the Wimmera, Grampians and Ballarat.

The Uniting Care consortium will provide 60 per cent of the total packages available in the region.

The contract includes responsibility for a youth residential unit in Ballarat and a planning function, which will give providers up-to-date, localised information about the needs of the region's mental health clients.

Wimmera Uniting Care acting chief executive Leeanne Thomson said the tender was for $2.14 million. She said the money would create new positions and extend existing positions.

The consortium will start advertising for new positions in coming weeks.

Wimmera Uniting Care will also receive extra money to support the transition of clients and staff to the new arrangement, which comes into effect on August 1.

"I would like to congratulate and thank everyone who worked on the tender," Ms Thomson said.

"Now our focus turns to getting the service up and running and making the transition as seamless as possible."

The appointment resulted from a six-month recommissioning process.

Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge said major changes were made to improve the way community-based mental health support was delivered throughout the state.

The State Government has commissioned 20 providers to deliver flexible support packages, do localised intake assessments and run youth residential rehabilitation programs.

"Mental health services, families, carers and people with a mental illness have been calling for change and our reform will deliver improved access to better quality services and greater flexibility to respond to individual needs," Ms Wooldridge said.

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