A one-stop-shop for carers of people with a mental health illness will continue in Cairns with special one-off funding to secure their immediate future, Minister for Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said today.

Minister Pitt said the Mental Illness Fellowship North Queensland would receive $213,200 to continue their mental health carers’ support hub.

“The organisation didn’t receive further federal funding. It’s such a vital service for carers of people with a mental illness and that’s why the State Government has bitten the bullet and provided special one-off funding,” Mr Pitt said.

The Hub supports carers by providing social and psychological assistance, information and referral to other appropriate services in Cairns and surrounding districts.

“The Mental Illness Fellowship reports that the hub has proven to be a great success with an increase in the use of its counsellors, referral numbers to other service providers and case conferencing.”

“The impacts of Cyclones Anthony and Yasi led to an increased need for services provided by the hub. People with a mental illness and their families need help now more than ever as they come to grips with the stresses of our recent natural disasters,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the carers’ hub reflects the spirit of cooperation in the far north among health service providers and community organisations.

“Our carers offer a real life line to people with mental illness. If we were to tally up the work provided by our carers right across the country it would run into the tens of millions of dollars,” he said.

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