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Rural Partnership Dialogues

The Department of Health and Human Services have advised us that they are holding inaugural Rural Consumer and Carer Partnership Dialogues in Morwell and Bairnsdale in June.

Bairnsdale – 10am-3pm Monday 20 June 2016 at The Riversleigh, 1 Nicholson Street Bairnsdale
Morwell – 10am-3pm Tuesday 21 June 2016 at Lifeline Gippsland, 2 Fleming Street Morwell

The aim of these forums is to give a voice to local mental health consumers, carers, and people with lived experience to have an ongoing dialogue with the Department of Health and Human Services. The events will be co-chaired by the Department’s Consumer, Carer and National Relations team, and the consumer and carer peak bodies, VMIAC and Tandem.

If you are interested in attending and would like to accompany Barrier Breakers or have someone from Barrier Breakers assist you please call us on 03 5174 4588.

To register or make enquiries with Consumer Carer & National Relations Unit, DHHS directly please contact Indigo Daya 03 9096 1395 or Amber Scanlon 03 9096 7040.

To download a flyer about the event, click here.

New CEO For Barrier Breakers

An ordained Minister has taken the top job at Barrier Breakers, Gippsland’s mental health advocacy charity.

This announcement was made today by Derek Amos, Chairman of the association, who warmly welcomed
Dr. Lynn Fowler as the Charity’s new Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Amos said Dr. Fowler comes from a background in Christian ministry, where she had been leading a ministry organization for the past ten years.

“Having had considerable involvement with people with mental illness over the years, she is enthusiastic about this new role with the mental health sector”, Mr. Amos said.

Based in Traralgon, Barrier Breakers Inc. provides free advocacy services for people with mental illness, who are in crisis. The association also advocates for mental health at a systemic level, seeking to raise community awareness of mental health issues and the needs of those with mental illness, and to encourage government at all levels to allocate a greater part of the available funding to mental health issues and accommodation for people with a mental illness.

Dr. Fowler said that homelessness was fast becoming a major issue in the region, with a desperate shortage of affordable accommodation, appropriate to the needs of people with a mental illness.

“Families, who suffer this problem need accommodation that is affordable, safe and secure, long-term and accompanied by support services”.

“Barrier Breakers initiated the establishment of the new supportive accommodation complex in Traralgon because of this desperate need,” Dr. Fowler said.

The public fund-raising campaign that Barrier Breakers ran for the project raised more than $150,000 towards its establishment costs and the organisation successfully lobbied the state government for a major share of the funding. They now plan to lobby for the project to be replicated throughout the region with Sale and Wonthaggi as priority towns.

Mr. Amos and Dr. Fowler said they look forward to working together in an exciting and challenging year ahead.

Web and Tele-Counselling

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Australia has a wide range of services available online and over the phone for emergency assistance or someone to talk to when you are feeling lost. These online and Tele-counselors are there to listen and offer support for many of life’s issues, big or small.

Open: 7 days a week, 8pm until 4am AEDST

Kids Help Line (ages 5-25)
Open: 7 days a week

eHeadspace (ages 12-25)
Open: 7 days

Open: 7 days

Beyond Blue
Open: 7 days, 4pm-10pm EST

Suicide Call-Back Service
Open: Mon-Fri and Sun (2.30pm-7pm) and Sat (10.30am-3pm EST)
Book an appointment

Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders
Open: Monday to Friday, 8am-9am AEST

National Sexual Assault, and Domestic Family Violence Foundation
Open: 7 days, 24 hours

(family, romantic, and interpersonal relationships)
Website: 7 days, 3pm-8.30pm

Gambling Help Online
Open: 7 days, 24 hours

Barrier Breakers Inc.





Barrier Breakers Inc. has operated in the Gippsland area of Victoria since 2006, providing the only advocacy service in the region for people with mental health issues. As well as our office in Traralgon, we have chapters in Sale and Wonthaggi, and are currently working toward opening an office in Sale.

At the systemic level, Barrier Breakers Inc. advocates for greater government recognition of, and funding for, the needs of those with mental health problems. At a personal level, we assist clients who are having issues with government departments, legal problems, or challenges with private sector organizations such as banks or businesses.

Recognizing that the de-institutionalization of mental health care some years ago has left a gaping hole in the provision of supported, affordable accommodation for those with mental health issues, we have recently established accommodation units in Traralgon, and hope in the future to also do so in Sale and Wonthaggi.

Barrier Breakers operates mostly with volunteers, and thus provides good value for money for its donors.

To offer your support to Barrier Breakers Inc, click the Donate button on the right or follow this link to view our GiveMatcher campaign.

Lifeline Gippsland ‘Gone Fishing’

Life line Gippsland are offering a free six week Educational Support Program for men tackling Twitter-Lifeline-Gone-Fishing-Program-900x450the Blues.








Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

Lifeline Gippsland presents Gone Fishing

2016 Calendars

Thank you to everyone who purchased our calendars this year, we would like to remind everyone that we still have some available. If you would like to purchase one you can come into our office in Traralgon, or contact us through facebook, email or telephone.2015 China  Nikon 222Just one of the stunning photographs inside this year’s calendar

Thank you from Barrier Breakers














Barrier Breakers would like to express their thanks to Tony, Lance, Shae and everyone who participated and purchased these delicious Cadbury’s Chocolates to raise money for the ongoing efforts of the Barrier Breakers organisation.

Barrier Breakers is a volunteer advocacy service for mental health, and when the community shows their support the community then empowers us to empower them.

Vanning Australia



The 2016 Van Nationals, supporting Barrier Breakers Inc.

Click on the link in our newsletter to find out how to register your Van and details about the event.



Source: Vanning Australia


Traralgon office

From Everyone at Barrier Breakers We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Safe New Year.

“An optimist stays up until midnight

to see the new year in.

A pessimist stays up to make sure

The old year leaves.”

(Bill Vaughn’s new year quotes)







Gippsland’s mental health advocacy, Barrier Breakers, has called on both the state and federal governments to combine efforts to
urgently address what it calls a “drug scourge”, which is destroying the lives of the region’s youth.

Derek Amos, Chairman of Barrier Breakers, said that recent mental health funding announcements by both the Victorian and Federal governments’ should now provide for a “triple C” approach to tackle the aftermath of alcohol and drug abuse.

Mr. Amos said “triple C’ stood for
cooperative, combined and concentrated. All three elements are vitally important if we are to take advantage of the increase in funding and the renewed will expressed by both governments to seriously address mental illness.

“There is possibly no better way to demonstrate these promises for change than to apply a “triple C” to the region’s drug problem and its total lack of facilities for timely treatment including detoxification and rehabilitation”, Mr. Amos said.

“There is no alcohol and drug detoxification and rehabilitation facility in all of Gippsland. Nor is there any Youth Prevention and Recovery Care Service (Y-PARC).”










Mr. Amos said that YPARK’s provide 24 hour treatment and support for young people between the ages of 16-25. “They provide vital care for people, who no longer need hospital treatment for mental illness, while also reducing pressure on hospital beds by providing early intervention care and an alternative to hospital admission.”

Mr. Amos said that it was a dreadful shame that the Kennett government closed the region’s sole alcohol and drug detox and rehab unit when it closed the Hobson Park hospital in Traralgon.

“Likewise, the region missed-out on an opportunity to have a YPARK when the state government announced it plans to develop them in Dandenong, Frankston and Bendigo in 2013.”

“Just imagine what a difference it will make to saving so many young lives from a lifetime of alcohol or drug induced early psychosis, or even worse – death”. Mr. Amos said that around 75% of all severe mental illnesses develop before age 25.

Mr. Amos said Barrier Breakers believes that both facilities, a YPARK and an alcohol and drug detox and rehab unit should be developed in Central Gippsland as soon as possible.

“With both the federal and state governments’ now coming-out with new mental health policy and funding initiatives, surely there has to be a “triple C” effort to address this regions drug problem”, Mr. Amos said.

“What about the federal government using some of the $300 million it has allocated for addressing the drug problem to build an alcohol and drug detox and rehab unit and the state government undertaking to build a YPARK?”, Mr. Amos asked.

As a first step, Barrier Breakers is writing to all Gippsland MP’s to ask for their support for this cooperative, combined and concentrated initiative to provide these much needed
facilities” Mr. Amos concluded.