More help will be available to keep NSW families together when young mothers with mental illnesses go to hospital.
Under a new partnership between the NSW government and Wesley Mission, mothers and their families will be able to receive care in residential facilities, supported by a case worker and mental health specialists.
Minister for Mental Health Kevin Humphries says mothers with mental illnesses are among the community’s most vulnerable people, who shouldn’t also have to suffer from being separated from their children when they are in hospital.
‘What we have learnt is the best place to look after people with mental illness is in the community,’ he said.
The three-year $ 12 million program is hoped to help mothers at risk of poverty and homelessness because of acute conditions that can include depression and bipolar disorder.
Wesley Mission chief executive Dr Keith Garner said mental health issues affected one in five Australians, and could have a lasting effect on families.
‘Too often it’s young mums who are struggling on their own, and the impact on the immediate family can be deep and damaging,’ he said.
Dr Garner said the program reflected a more holistic approach by service providers, the government and society.
‘This is a defining moment for the community because it is in many ways groundbreaking,’ he said.
‘Acute mental health problems, particularly in young mothers, need strategic, long-term solutions, not ad hoc, piecemeal efforts.’