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Isolation support funding

Isolation support funding

Local councils to work as 'community connectors'

Local councils are set to play a part in the Victorian Government's 'Community Activation and Social Isolation initiative'.

Announced by Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp; Swan Hill Rural City Council, Gannawarra Shire Council, Campaspe Shire Council will all work as 'community connectors'.

It means each council will receive $58,860 to assist people who may be experiencing loneliness or social disconnection as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The initiative will reportedly expand the Victorian coronavirus hotline by partnering with Australian Red Cross volunteers who have been trained in psychological first aid, so they can provide support to callers who may be distressed or anxious.

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The hotline will also link people in need to community connectors for local practical supports and social activities, such as video chats, online book clubs or fitness groups.

Director of Community and Cultural Services at Swan Hill Rural City Council, Bruce Myers explained how they got involved.

"DHHS approached all council's first up whether they wanted to play the lead role in the community activation and social isolation initiative," says Myers.

"We had some phone calls with them to understand what the intent was and we thought that it aligned pretty well with some other initiatives that we were doing here."

Myers says the goal for council will be to be more proactive within the community, as there may be those that haven't asked for support, but they may need it.

Gepp says he's pleased with more funding going to regional areas;

“This is a great initiative that will enable our local networks to provide people in our community with practical, emotional and social support if they need it.”

The Victorian Government will provide more than $6 million over the next six months for the Community Activation and Social Isolation initiative, as part of a $59.4 million mental health and wellbeing package.


The Victorian Coronavirus Hotline can be reached at 1800 675 398.

Other support providers include;

Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14 -

Beyond Blue 1800 512 348 -

headspace Swan Hill - 1800 975 115 - (online service)

Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 -

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