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New drug and alcohol services for pregnant women and new mothers

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack officially launched a $1.8 million program today to support pregnant women and new mothers living in Murrumbidgee communities who are experiencing alcohol and other drug disorders.

The Women’s Wellness and Recovery Program provides tailored specialist treatment and practical support as early as possible, to improve the health and wellbeing of women and their children.

Mr McCormack said the program was vital to assist mothers and expectant mothers struggling with substance abuse.

“The Liberals and Nationals in Government recognise the importance of providing pathways to help those in our community who need it most,” Mr McCormack said.

“I am committed to addressing alcohol and other drug-related issues within the Riverina and Central West as well as the wider Australian community.

“The Government has provided $1,649,062 to the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network to do just that.”

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) Chief Executive Officer Melissa Neal said the program is being delivered under the Australian Government’s National Ice Action Strategy.

“We worked in close partnership with Murrumbidgee Family and Community Services and the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) to source a suitable provider for this important service; selecting Calvary Riverina Drug and Alcohol Centre.

“Calvary Riverina is a local not-for-profit drug and alcohol specialist provider that has been serving our communities for many years,” Ms Neal said.

Calvary Riverina Chief Executive Officer Robin Haberecht said the one-to-one individualised and community-based support service included drug education, specialist treatment and counselling within a family-based intervention framework.

“Participation in the program is voluntary and free with the outpatient setting providing support within and from the community, to provide the best chance for mothers and children to stay together and maximise their health outcomes.

“Potential participants can self-refer, be referred by a doctor, the MLHD or another service provider,” Ms Haberecht said.

The program is currently available in Wagga Wagga and once established, will roll out to other regional locations in Griffith, Young and Deniliquin.

Pictured right: Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack with Robin Haberecht, Calvary Riverina Private Hospital CEO, and Melissa Neal, Murrumbidgee PHN CEO.

Top: Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack with Brendan McCorry, Manager, Calvary Drug and Alcohol Centre; Melissa Neal, Murrumbidgee PHN CEO; Robin Haberecht, Calvary Riverina Private Hospital CEO; and Judith Day, National Director, Private Hospitals.

Above: MPHN's Abrie Schutte (portfolio manager); Jodi Culbert (board member); Sue McAlpin (Board Chair); Melissa Neal (CEO); and Catherine Maloney (board member).