Vinnies welcomes NSW Premier's commitment to mental health

State President of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW/ACT, John O'Neill, yesterday thanked Premier Morris Iemma for his commitment to mental health on the occasion of the launch of the Society's Winter Appeal.

The NSW Premier, who announced a donation of $20,000 to kick-start the Winter Appeal, also confirmed the first part of the NSW Government's commitment to matching the Commonwealth's investment in mental health services.

"The State Government is definitely heading in the right direction with its support of the home support model," Mr O'Neill said.

"This model is already in action through a variety of outreach services the Society already provides, including programs at Matthew Talbot Hostel, Charles O'Neill House and Vincentian Village, but many of these currently receive no government funding for this activity."

He said a strategy to provide one-to-one tenancy and outreach support to Sydney's "formally" homeless people, who often have mental health problems, is a key factor in keeping these people re-engaged with the community.

He says that 75 per cent of the homeless men and women in NSW and ACT have some form of mental illness.

Mr O'Neill said: "The Premier's involvement here today, the kind donation and subsequent announcement indicates his personal passion and concern for people suffering from mental illness and its consequences including homelessness."

"We will be calling on the public to add a little comfort, dignity and hope by giving through Vinnies and similarly we encourage the Government to continue its policy reform and investment in this area," he said.

The Society says people can donate by calling 13 18 12 or visiting its website (www.vinnies.org.au). Donations can also be made at local parishes or Vinnies shop.

Vinnies Welcomes Premier's Commitment to Mental Health at Winter Appeal Launch (St Vincent de Paul Society 18/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Vincent de Paul Society

Vinnies vibrant volunteers (St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland 18/5/06)

19 May 2006