Sunday 11th Apr, 2021

CBH boosts mental health support with new partnerships

The CBH Group has entered a three-year $600,000 partnership with four mental health organisations to improve the mental health of Western Australian regional communities.

Lifeline WA, Youth Focus, Mental Illness Fellowship WA and Black Dog Institute will become part of the CBH Regional Mental Wellness Program, which seeks to increase access to mental health services across its grain growing communities.

The partnerships were launched following World Suicide Prevention Day.

CBH Chair Simon Stead said mental health remained a significant issue for regional Western Australia which was the reason CBH had sought more partners to provide services and increased funding to $200,000 a year for the program.

“Over the past five years, our Community Investment Fund has funded a Mental Wellness Program with inaugural partner, Black Dog Institute, offering workshops and raising mental health awareness among health professionals, growers and high school students,” Stead said.

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“In continuing that contribution, CBH will provide a total of $600,000 over the next three years to extend the program so we can reach more growers and community members.

“We have partnered with four outstanding mental health service organisations who will deliver new or expand current services, programs and campaigns for regional Western Australians in the areas of prevention, intervention and continuing care.

Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Arthur Papakotsias welcomed the partnership with CBH, saying it would help Youth Focus build on its existing mental health and web-counselling services in the Wheatbelt.

“This partnership will provide much-needed mental health services to young people in grain growing regions including web-counselling to towns where services are scarce or in some cases do not exist,” Papakotsias said.

“While Youth Focus services extend across a large footprint from Albany to Geraldton, we are limited in our capacity to employ clinicians in small and remote towns.

“Corporate partners like CBH are integral in helping us reach as many young people as possible and we welcome this opportunity to extend our services in these areas to ensure people who need our support receive it.”

Lifeline WA Chief Executive Officer Lorna MacGregor said now, more than ever, maintaining mental health was critical.

“We are grateful to CBH for making mental health and suicide prevention a priority, especially for regional Western Australians,” McGregor said.

“I encourage growers and community members who may be contemplating suicide, experiencing emotional distress, or caring for someone in crisis to call 13 11 14.”

If you or someone you know needs urgent support please contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.