Increased access to free counselling for drought-hit communities in Queensland and NSW will be made available with more funds available for service providers.
The expanded services are being made available under a $10.7 million federal government investment in targeted social and community support, announced by Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
The funds will be delivered through the Family Support Program and Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program to 22 existing service providers across drought-affected areas in Queensland and NSW.
Mr Andrews said in a statement the additional help would include one-to-one counselling, family support services and referrals and outreach, to people in need in drought-affected communities.
“The Department of Human Services has drought coordinators who will help to ensure good communication and coordination between service providers, so they can best support those in need,” he said.
Mr Joyce said providers would also work with other government and non-government services, such as the Rural Financial Counselling Service, health services, emergency relief and other community support organisations.
This article first appeared on The Land on 21 April, 2014.