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Mental Health Help for Wye River Community

Posted 01 December 2015

It is vital the Wye River community is supported after the Christmas Day bushfires and that there is capacity in the health system to assist those needing care, said the CEO of Lorne Community Hospital, Kate Gillan today.

“This support can go a long way to avoiding developing a chronic, debilitating condition,” she said.

Kate met with the CEO of the Victorian Healthcare Association Tom Symondson, (pictured right), to discuss myriad issues. These included finding the best way to harness mental health support for those in need – including volunteer firefighters and their families - as a result of the fires.

“There is a real need in the Wye River community,” Ms Gillan said. “All of the various agencies and volunteers and the State and Federal governments have been fantastic in allocating funds to these vital issues.

“But we do need things to move a little faster to release the money and get them moving. We are ready, willing and able to help. Let’s get started.”

Mr Symondson said the fires were a timely reminder for all health services to ensure their emergency planning was up-to-date and well-practiced.

“It’s important to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, which is what the Lorne Community Hospital did so well recently,” he said. “Good preparation and planning are critical.”

Lorne Community Hospital had already invested in fire management infrastructure including water tanks, a centrally-controlled sprinkler system, vegetation and ground cover changes and fire rated grill guttering.

Ms Gillan said a  key element of Lorne Community Hospital’s ‘shelter in place’ plan was ensuring excellent daily situational monitoring of weather and warnings, trigger points for action in extreme or code red days and a plan for responding to warnings such as ‘watch and act’.

Lorne Community Hospital provides aged residential, acute hospital, emergency, community health, home nursing, medical, rehabilitation and palliative care.

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