Release date: 20/01/2023

More children’s counselling and expanded services for adults in distress will be offered to Riverland communities affected by flooding in the next tranche of targeted mental health support being rolled out by the Malinauskas Labor Government.

The additional services are being funded by the Government’s $1 million SA Flood Mental Health Response package.

With flood waters now receding, it is expected that more people along the Murray will need extra support to stay mentally healthy and well over the coming months during the recovery period.

Local mental health services will work in close partnership with relief centres to ensure there are clear referral pathways between services that are easily accessible for the community.

It follows a first round of mental health support announced last month, including more psychological and mental health nursing services, increased psychiatrist support via Telehealth, more child mental health specialists and community resilience and wellbeing programs.

New services include a Digital Aftercare scheme delivered by SANE where counsellors will provide up to eight check-in calls of support for locals in the leadup to their first psychology appointment, after presenting to an emergency department or other health service.

Another NGO, Neami, will expand its eligibility criteria so more locals in distress can access support without a referral, while other organisations including Mind Australia and Relationships Australia will provide more on-ground counselling to people, especially children and those from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Uniting Communities will deliver additional help to Riverland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by working with local Elders to develop culturally-safe and accessible services, supporting connections with broader parts of the community.

The $1 million mental health package is part of a broader $51.6 million flood support package announced by the Government in November.

The SA Flood Mental Health Response package supports people across the region to get help in a way that is right for them – whether face-to-face, in the community, via phone, telehealth or local schools.

Quotes

Attributable to Nadia Clancy

We’re here to support the Riverland community for the long haul as we know the effects of flooding can last well beyond when the water subsides.

Through innovative programs like these, we will give more people the help they need, sooner.

Attributable to Acting Director Mental Health Strategy Liz Prowse

We’ve learned a lot through our response to bushfires, COVID-19 and drought. Getting in the right support to regional communities as soon as possible is vital to helping people at risk of new or emerging mental health concerns.

This funding boost will deliver more clinicians, allied health professionals and services to the rural communities that will need them most - not just for now, but for the months to come.