Deb pushes for mental health support centre

SUPPORT for people suffering from mental health issues is finally on the way.

The South Burnett Clubhouse will provide work training, support, meals and a sense of community, based on Toowoomba's Clubhouse.

Funding for the South Burnett Clubhouse and physical space has yet to be secured, but Nanango MP Deb Frecklington is determined to establish the much-needed facility.

For the past 12 months she has been part of a small working group quietly planning and campaigning for the $200,000 she said would fund the Clubhouse for two years.

"I am confident we can deliver this for the South Burnett and I am not going to stop until we do," Ms Frecklington said.

"There's such a need here with regard to mental health, particularly in the agricultural space and it is really concerning to me given some of the really sad stories I've heard lately," she said.

New figures from a Queensland Health report, yet to be publicly-released, shows the incidence of mental illness in the South Burnett is among the highest in the state.

Toowoomba Clubhouse's executive director Luke Terry is part of the working group and said one in four people in the South Burnett would have a mental health problem at some point in their life.

Mr Terry said the Clubhouse would work with about 150 people to help them back into the workforce in a supported environment.

"The idea is to build peoples' confidence to be able to cook again for example, to be with their families again," he said.

"There's so much need in this (Kingaroy) community and a real need for people coming out of hospitals to connect with a service like this."

What's Clubhouse?

Clubhouse offers work training and a connection to employers.

It is a mutual support

model and daily tasks can

include shopping,

gardening, cooking, writing newsletters.

There are 400 clubhouses around the world.

The first opened in New York in 1944.

South Burnett

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