NEW PREMISES: David Littleproud MP joined the Lives Lived Well team to celebrate the new office.
NEW PREMISES: David Littleproud MP joined the Lives Lived Well team to celebrate the new office. Matt Collins

Free program providing mental health assistance

MENTAL health services in the South Burnett received a huge boost last week with the opening of the new larger premises for Lives Lived Well in Youngman St, Kingaroy.

Clinical services manager for Lives Lived Well in Southeast Queensland, James Curtain, said the new premises came about because of an increased need for these services in the South Burnett.

"All levels of government realised the need for mental support and drug and alcohol counselling and we were at the point where we needed to find a bigger space," he said.

In line with the new location, Lives Lived Well has teamed up with the Primary Health Network and Beyond Blue to offer free mental health sessions.

The program, known as New Access, is a free service that provides six sessions with a specifically trained New Access coach.

Speaking at the opening of the new premises, member for Maranoa David Littleproud praised the hard work of the Lives Lived Well team and said he had seen the effects of drug addiction.

"I must admit, before becoming member for Maranoa I was ignorant to the effects of drug addiction," he said.

"That was until I sat in a cafe in Roma and spoke with a young man in his 20s."

"He said he woke up in jail and rang his wife and didn't realise he hadn't been married to her for the last month and a half."

"He was just out of it for that much."

Mr Littleproud encouraged all residents to get involved in helping with this growing issue.

"The standard we walk past is the standard we accept," he said.

As well as the free New Access sessions, Lives Lived Well offers a range of services for those affected by drug and alcohol or with mental health issues.

"Traditionally we have just done drug and alcohol counselling but we have some indigenous specific services now as well as the New Access program."

"As well as Brighter Futures in Cherbourg."

CEO of Darling Downs West Moreton Primary Health Network Merrilyn Strohfeldt encouraged anyone struggling with their mental health to take advantage of the service.

"The program is about people working with mental health coaches to improve their mental health," she said.

"It is for people who have low to medium mental health issues."

"They do not require a doctor's referral and they do not require a mental health plan."

Lives Lived Well has had many successes with their current programs.

"There was a young fella that couldn't leave his house and now he is going out and starting his own business," Mr Curtain said.

"And a woman who hadn't slept properly for year, she slept through the night for the first time in twenty years."

"These things have a huge impact on their lives and their functioning."

"As these individuals improve their lives it impacts their families and the community more broadly."

To find out more about the New Access program go to the Lives Lived Well website or contact 1300 971 309