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Funds for Pilbara wellbeing at risk

Alicia PereraPilbara News

Mental health programs run by Act-Belong-Commit in the Pilbara are at risk of shutting down at midyear after regional funding partner Chevron opted to stop its funding.

Chevron has been supporting Act-Belong-Commit programs in Karratha, Roebourne and Onslow since August 2014 but has decided to stop funding the Mentally Healthy WA campaign as of July this year.

In a statement, a Chevron spokesman said the company remained committed to promoting healthier communities and increasing quality access to health care in the areas they operated in.

While in the Pilbara, Act-Belong-Commit Aboriginal project manager Lesley Murray has collaborated with community members in Roebourne to develop a culturally appropriate model of building wellbeing in Aboriginal communities which has since been rolled out Statewide.

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Staff have also run programs to increase the capacity of local communities to address mental illness and promoted positive mental health in schools.

They are looking for another funding partner to continue running programs in the region but, if unsuccessful, staff will have to exit in late June.

Ms Murray said their regional staff members were very grateful to Chevron for supporting the campaign over the past four years. “Of particular significance is the work we’ve been able to do in the Roebourne community,” she said.

“For such a long time we’ve known that to really engage Aboriginal communities, a specific cultural adaptation was needed. The Chevron partnership has given us the opportunity to work alongside the Roebourne community.”

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