A regional community counselling service: A landing pad for persons with mental health issues who fall through the welfare net
New Community Quarterly Association
Faculty of Regional Professional Studies
School of Regional Professional Studies
Australia is generally perceived as a wealthy country with a population enjoying an affluent, peaceful, relaxed lifestyle. The economy is seen as affluent and the welfare net in relation to unemployment, sickness, single parenthood, old age, mental illness and disability is perceived as satisfactory. On the surface, the South West of Western Australia confirms this profile. It has a strong regional economy and its industry sectors include mining, manufacturing, commerce, agriculture, timber, tourism, construction and fishing (South West Development Commission, 1997). It is a strong growth region with the population expected to rise from 112,200 in 1996 to 142,000 by 2010. (Western Australian Department of Training, 1998:3). The major employment growth area between 1996/97-2003/04 is expected to be community services (Syntec/Monash, 1997) and within that sector, community health services are well represented. There is a modem public hospital, which includes primary and mental health services as well as services for women's health, Aboriginal health, youth and the aged. There are specialised psychological services; private counselling services and over 40 human service organisations that provide some counselling support on a range of issues.