Bishop Bill Wright and Upper Hunter MP, Michael Johnsen, were on hand to celebrate the opening of the Muswellbrook Community Hub which brings CatholicCare, Access Programs and One Door Mental Health under one roof.
Supporting the community in the Upper Hunter
“Opening our Muswellbrook office enables CatholicCare to extend the services we provide the wider Hunter community in general but in particular to the number of young people and children who need our support,” Gary Christensen, the director of CatholicCare Social Services, said to the Muswellbrook Chronicle ahead of the official opening of the Community Hub.
“An increasing number of children are unable to live with their birth families, and the situation is now at crisis point.
“In NSW, there are more than 18,000 children and young people living in out of home care.
“In line with recent changes announced by the NSW government, CatholicCare is working in local communities to recruit and assess carers and hopefully entice more locals to consider becoming carers, which will assist in addressing the massive shortfall across regional NSW.”
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Supporting drought-stricken farmers
In addition to the great demand for carers for displaced children, the Upper Hunter is facing the most extreme drought the region has seen in over a decade. To support residents facing difficult times, CatholicCare is providing free mental health support to those affected by the drought conditions.
Speaking with The Herald about meeting the mental health needs off Upper Hunter residents, Christensen said, “we were conscious the farmers are doing it very tough and we want to become a part of a local solution.”
“Farmers doing it tough face a lot of mental health issues, socialisation, grief, loss-and our counselling team can assist with some of that.”
Supporting the community and offering a helping hand
CatholicCare has offices throughout the Hunter-Manning region, including offices in Singleton, Mayfield, Maitland, Cardiff, Gloucester, Forster, Taree and now Muswellbrook. To find out more about the services CatholicCare provides, visit the CatholicCare website, or contact our head office at (02) 4979 1120.