Murray Mallee drug and alcohol program gets $1 million lifeline
Murray Mallee General Practice Network staff will continue their life-changing work for at least two more years.
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A life-changing service which helps Murraylands residents escape drug and alcohol addiction has received a two-year funding lifeline.
Funding for the Murray Mallee General Practice Network’s alcohol and other drugs program had been due to run out on June 30.
But on Monday, federal MP Tony Pasin announced it would get $500,000 per year for the next two years.
That would mean more therapy, counselling and support for people who needed it, head clinician Lisa Courtney said.
Continuity of care was vital for people who were at a vulnerable stage in their recovery from addiction, she said – they needed to know help would be there when they needed it.
Having addiction services and mental health services side by side was also helpful.
“It’s about a holistic model of care,” she said.
"Recovery takes a long time to build, it involves lapses and relapses, and we haven't done it in a siloed manner – mental health and AOD (alcohol and other drugs) goes hand in hand.”
She thanked the clients who had shared their stories to demonstrate the need for a funding extension.
A sense of certainty would also benefit MMGPN staff, business manager Kris Dalitz said.
Recruiting and retaining health care professionals, most of whom had to commute from Adelaide, was hard enough without their worrying that their contracts would not be renewed.
The Murray Mallee GP Network established its alcohol and other drugs program three years ago as part of the federal government’s response to methamphetamine use in the community.
Mr Pasin said the network had done great work since then.
“The initial funding ... was a big win for our community and has translated into tangible benefits for individuals and their families,” he said.
The latest funding was approved prior to the federal election being called, and is not conditional on the Coalition remaining in government.
Get help: Talk to your GP; visit www.mmgpn.org.au, call 8531 1303, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Murray Mallee GP Network at 55 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge between 8.30am and 5pm weekdays; or call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
More information: www.mmgpn.org.au.
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