House debates

Monday, 14 July 2014

Statements by Members

Dobell Electorate: Iris Foundation

1:34 pm

Photo of Karen McNamaraKaren McNamara (Dobell, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Recently I was honoured to attend the opening of the Iris Foundation's Early Intervention Centre for the Prevention of Suicide at Wyong. Formed in 2006, the Iris Foundation promotes early intervention as a key means to the prevention of suicide on the Central Coast. This new centre is the first of its kind in New South Wales and will be managed by the Wyong Neighbourhood Centre. Importantly, the Centre will provide much-needed support to at-risk individuals and their families. One in five Australians experiences a mental illness in any given year. Alarmingly, two in three Australians know of someone who has died through suicide, yet one in four are unaware of services providing support for people who are suicidal.

This centre would not be a reality without the hard work, commitment and dedication of two outstanding women, Dawn Hooper and Bev Baldwin. Dawn and Bev established the Iris Foundation determined to make a lasting difference to those suffering from mental illness on the Central Coast. Together with the Northern Lakes Toukley Rotary Club, Dawn and Bev set about restoring a cottage at the Wyong Neighbourhood Centre to provide a location where locals could access mental health support through early intervention. Jodi Morgan, manager of the Wyong Neighbourhood Centre, said that in her experience people suffering from mental illness often feel overwhelmed by the process of accessing mental health services. This new centre will assist people in obtaining the support they require and provide integration into other mental health support services. I commend the efforts of all involved in the establishment of the Early Intervention Centre for the Prevention of Suicide and sincerely thank them for their service to our local community.