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NEWS DESK

Mental health charity seeks support Hope for ‘hardship’ Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au A CHARITY set up as a social enterprise wants to open a trauma recovery and mental wellbeing centre on the Mornington Peninsula. The site could be a former hospital or a donated section of a large property. Enveco Health founder Moniquea Spiteri said the organisation had unsuccessfully “approached numerous foundations, applied for grants [which is] the usual process that notfor-profits do…”. “Seed funding and seed capital is the hardest to get [because] when it comes to backing innovation everyone is focused on technology start-ups or others doing the same thing,” she said. Generous philanthropists were hard to find. “We’ve been searching for one for the past six years, or a couple of board members to help us push the project forward.” Ms Spiteri, of Mount Martha, is a qualified somatic psychotherapist and trauma specialist with 15 years’ experience in mental health service system design and delivery. She said the wellness and recovery centre would become a model for “eco-friendly, sustainable living practices and innovation in the healthcare sector”. “With one of the world’s highest rates of suicide, mental ill-health, severe mental illness and mental health-related homelessness, Australia is experiencing a mental health crisis,” Ms Spiteri said.

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Site required: Enveco Health founder Moniquea Spiteri is looking for help in tackling a mental health crisis. Picture: Supplied

Research was showing the situation would worsen “after the pandemic”. While looking to find a home on the peninsula, Enveco is also on the short list to buy and reopen a mothballed hospital at Warburton – a former hydrotherapy centre – as its Warburton Well Being Centre. The property was owned by Sanitarium but closed 10 years ago. Ms Spiteri said she aimed to eventually open centres in several suburbs but was often beaten when bidding for suitable sites by developers with “deeper pockets”. This had been the case at the former Mount Eliza hospital site in Jacksons Road. “There is no cure for those who take their own lives, however, we can support those that survive and we can make inroads into prevention,” Ms Spiteri said. “The earlier we intervene, the

Mornington News 16 June 2020

more likely we are to reduce mental health problems, including suicide and homelessness, and the social and emotional health problems related to it. “The personal tragedy that many of our supporters have experienced has demonstrated that this facility will become a much-needed relief in the mental health landscape. I am constantly contacted by those who have experienced firsthand the impact that poor mental health and suicide has had on their friends and families. “There is a mentality not to discuss suicide because of the fear of copycats. “Unfortunately, when someone dies there is no second chance, so the only way forward is prevention. “This centre will provide the missing piece to the current mental health crisis and develop a gold standard in mental health care.” Health Minister, Flinders MP Greg Hunt said he supported “any group looking to provide health services for the community”. “I have met with and made representations on behalf of Enveco Health over the years and look forward to their completion of a business case for any preferred site, so that they may appropriately seek funding.” Cr Antonella Celi said that following the Royal Commission Report into Victoria’s mental health system there had never been “a more important time to empower and support diverse trauma recovery models that offer accessible and integrated mental health care services to help people heal, recover and go on to live meaningful lives in their own community”.

meals to continue

By Danielle Collis A MT MARTHA restaurant has prepared more than 1000 meals for Mornington Community Information and Support Centre to deliver to people and families in need. Volpino owner David Weill said a customer who donated $1000 had wanted to help keep the restaurant in business during the coronavirus emergency while also helping the broader community. Mr Weill contacted the Mornington Peninsula Foundation about the customer’s plan and was put in touch with the Mornington Community Information and Support Centre. The centre’s general manager Stuart Davis-Meehan said due to coronavirus restrictions the centre had replaced its face-to-face meal program with food deliveries. The meal program costs $10 a meal and is prepared, cooked and stored within Volpino’s registered kitchen to meet municipal food and safety regulations. After an influx of donations from the community by the second week of the project, Volpino increased its 50 meals a week to 100 meals a week. Mr Davis-Meehan said the precooked meals are available to those who may be struggling financially or facing hardship. Mr Weill said donations from the community were also keeping people employed. “We had kids donating from their piggy banks,” he said “This situation has been terrible for

so many people and so many businesses, but it’s brought out a lot of good in people, I think.” With more than $16,000 raised and 1000 meals prepared, Volpino has set a goal of 2000 meals. Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Sam Hearn said: “Stories such as this fill me with confidence that by working together we will get through this and come out the other side as a stronger and more resilient community.” Mr Davis-Meehan said he was surprised by the kindness of the community and would like to see the project continue operating even after restrictions have eased. “It might become a new string in our bow,” he said. If you are in immediate danger, call 000 or you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, call 1800 825 955.

Cafe wins award COOEE Cafe, Rosebud has won the 2020 Best Bites People’s Choice Awards. This comes after 150 customers nominated their favourite food business. Judges from Mornington Peninsula Shire, Peninsula Health and the Disability Advisory Committee assessed their food safety, healthy eating, sustainability, reduction of tobacco/alcohol and access for all. Blue Mini, Rosebud, and Corner Pantry, Mount Eliza, were highly commended.

Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

Mornington News 16 June 2020  

Mornington News 16 June 2020

Mornington News 16 June 2020  

Mornington News 16 June 2020

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