People in Kinglake communities affected by trauma from the Black Saturday Bushfires will continue to receive much needed support, thanks to extra funding from the Andrews Labor Government.

Representing the Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley, the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria, Danielle Green today announced an additional $84,000 to keep the Be Well in the Ranges program, operating until mid-2020.

The Black Saturday Bushfires remain one of the most devastating events in Victoria’s history when 173 people lost their lives on 7 February 2009.  Many more faced the significant trauma of losing loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods.

The Kinglake Ranges and surrounding communities were amongst the worst affected areas, with 120 of those lives lost in the Kinglake/Whittlesea area and 10 years on, many people remain deeply affected by the terrible experiences of that day.

The Be Well in the Ranges program provides free, psychological support, group therapy and music therapy and is run by the Kinglake Neighbourhood House.

The Labor Government has allocated a further $172.8 million to mental health in the 2019-20 Victorian Budget to ensure Victorians get better treatment and support closer to home.

While the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System continues its vital work, the Labor Government is working to find new ways to ensure Victorians are getting the help they need.

The Royal Commission will deliver an interim report next month and the Labor Government will implement all recommendations.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.

Quotes attributable to the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria, Danielle Green

“While we will never forget what we lost that day, there remains strength and resilience in the Kinglake Ranges community thanks in part to programs like this.”

 “We’re proud to be able to extend this great community led program and ensure it continues to deliver valuable mental health support for the Kinglake community and surrounds.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“The immediate crisis left by the Black Saturday may be gone but the scars still remain – that’s why programs like this one, delivered by local groups who people trust, are so important in the recovery journey.”

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