Pride of place
Friday, 18th December, 2015
By Darrin Manuel
People who battle with mental health problems should know that their concerns are taken seriously when they walk into Lifeline’s new headquarters, according to Sussan Ley.
The Federal Minister for Health joined the public in taking a tour of the newly upgraded facilities yesterday, and said she was impressed by the many ways in which Lifeline served the community.
She said the refurbished premises in Argent Street would be of particular value to those who struggle with mental health, with the modern offices a visible sign that the affliction is accepted and of importance to the community.
“I think when you come into a place when you’re unwell, if it doesn’t look as though the building or the circumstances are that good, it gives you a bit of a message that ‘I’m not that important, what’s happening to me is not that important, people don’t value this.’
“But by having a good consulting area, having good facilities, and by really investing in some of the things that we are doing here, it helps ... it helps you feel that people care about you,” said Ms Ley.
She was also full of praise for local patrons of Lifeline, who contributed significant money to the upgrades on top of a $500,000 grant from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
“When we look at the patrons and the generous gifts that have been provided by them - sure, the Commonwealth gift is important - but I don’t think I’ve seen this level of community support, including financial support, in an organisation that does mental health first aid anywhere.”
The Member for Farrer was joined on the tour by Lifeline Australia’s CEO, Peter Shmigel, who used the opening as an opportunity to personally say thanks to the many local volunteers who donate their time to Lifeline.