IT is hoped Wimmera and Grampians residents seeking help for family violence issues will soon have access to better resourced and higher skilled primary carers.
The Western Victoria Primary Health Network has announced it has received federal government funding of over $1.8 million for two pilot projects set to commence in coming months.
One of these is The First 180: Preventing and Responding to Family Violence. This will see Grampians Community Health and the Wimmera Health Care Group deliver training to primary carers, so they identify and support all members of 'at risk' separating families.
A spokesman said among the pilot's objectives was to connect primary car to the range of providers and resources available to support people at risk of or experiencing family violence.
"Research tell us the first six months following family separation is one of the most critical times for family violence to occur and is when most partner and child fatalities take place," he said.
He said the Northern Grampians, Warrnambool and Central Goldfields municipalities had the highest rates in the Western Victoria PHN region.
Data from the latest Crime Statistics Agency of Victoria report, released on June 18, showed police responded to 508 family violence incidents in Horsham in the 12 months to March 31, a five per cent increase on the previous 12 months. The majority of those affected were between 18 and 44 years old and women.
WHCG chief executive Catherine Morley said the $1.43 million project was a "great outcome".
"Despite significant effort across Victorian health systems and community health services, we still need to do this better," she said.
A second pilot project, funded to the tune of $481,000, will focus on residents suffering from chronic wounds.
Ms Morley said the Wimmera Grampians Wound Management program would allow them to improve the existing eHealth, referral pathways and education provided to employees on chronic wounds. Chronic wounds can include, but aren't limited to, ulcers and pressure injuries.
"This program will allow us to work in consultation with medical practitioners, our community members and our specialised wound consultants that we employ," she said.
In a statement, chief executive Rowena Clift said the programs would allow the different healthcare needs of each community in the region to be met.
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