Free Mental Health Support for Residents

Free Mental Health Support
Child & Family Services
Media Release

Golden Plains Shire Council is supporting residents with free mental health support and counselling.

Council has partnered with the Barwon Child Youth and Family (BCYF) to provide free counselling for Golden Plains Shire residents. The program will provide free generalist mental health support and drug and alcohol counselling for residents across the Shire with locations in Dereel, Meredith, Rokewood and Bannockburn. 

In 2020, Council established the COVID Hardship Policy to support residents facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Council committed to continue offering financial hardship support, allocating $50,000 to the COVID Hardship Policy in the Council Budget 2021/22. Council also identified the need for mental health support to respond to increased needs in the community due to COVID-19 and allocated an additional $50,000 for the development and implementation of a mental health program for Golden Plains Shire residents. 

The free counselling program provides residents with easy access to mental health support without the need for a mental health care plan or general practitioner referral. This health and wellbeing support service is available to all Golden Plains residents and families, with the 12-month program due to end 31 March 2023. 

The free support service is currently available on Tuesdays at Dereel Community Learning Centre, 14 Swamp Road, Dereel and Rokewood Community Health Centre, 55 FerrarsFerrers Street, Rokewood; Wednesdays at Meredith Community Centre, 4 Russell Street, Meredith; and Thursdays at Bannockburn Physiotherapy Clinic, 9 High Street, Bannockburn. Telehealth options are also available, where in-person sessions are not possible.

To make a booking, community members can contact BCYF at 0432 688 769 or 1300 022 293. 

Mayor Cr Gavin Gamble says Council is pleased to be partnering with BCYF to offer this valuable service for the Golden Plains Shire community.

Council’s COVID Hardship Policy has been a valuable financial support for residents and we are pleased to be providing additional support for those whose mental health has been impacted by the pandemic. Council has established a strong partnership with BCYF and we are happy to be working closely with them to deliver this important service in Golden Plains Shire.

It has been a difficult two years for many members of our community and it is vital that all residents have access to mental health support and this free program will make it much easier for residents to seek that help. 

Taking care of your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health and I encourage anyone who may be struggling or is in need of mental health support or drug and alcohol counselling to utilise this free service.

This new service follows the successful Let’s Come Together drug and alcohol support program delivered by BCYF in 2021. The Let’s Come Together program provided inclusive coffee and cake catch ups for community members looking for information on mental health and drug and alcohol services available to residents and how to access them.

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