Support service as rehab follow-up

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser
Milliya Rumurra Aboriginal Corporation board members Kathy Watson, left, and Junie Djaigween with chief executive Andrew Amor.
Camera IconMilliya Rumurra Aboriginal Corporation board members Kathy Watson, left, and Junie Djaigween with chief executive Andrew Amor. Credit: Milliya Rumurra Aboriginal Corporation

For the first time in the Kimberley, people returning home from residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation are being offered access to a support service.

The program aims to close a significant gap in the East and West Kimberley and has been made possible by more than $1 million from the Commonwealth.

The philosophy recognises people returning to their homes and families after residential treatment need active support and follow-up to have the best chance of a sustained recovery.

Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt said the post-residential rehabilitation program would support people recovering from mental illness and drug and alcohol dependence as they re-entered their communities.

“Once people have finished live-in rehabilitation programs, there is often a fragile balance between maintaining their new lifestyle and relapsing in the days, weeks, months and years ahead,” Mr Wyatt said.

“This program provides personal care plans tailored for each individual which identify risk factors in each person’s home and community environment, how they can be protected and any interventions required to enhance their recovery.”

WA Primary Health Alliance has commissioned Milliya Rumurra Aboriginal Corporation in Broome to lead the service in partnership with Ngnowar Aewah Aboriginal Corporation in Wyndham.

WAPHA regional manager Andy McGaw said the service would focus on a whole-of-family approach, as without the family’s understanding and support, the person was more likely to relapse.

“Family participation is proven to have a significant influence on long-term outcomes and helps repair family structures, roles and relationships that may have been damaged during the period of addiction,” he said.

Milliya Rumurra Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Andrew Amor said the organisation was delighted to be delivering this service across the entire Kimberley region.

“We will be reaching out to people who, with our support, can overcome the significant challenges they often face when returning to their community and continue their healing,” Mr Amor said.

“And with most of our case workers being Aboriginal, they will be able to deliver a service that is culturally secure, which will also assist greatly with recovery.”

The program will start working with clients this month and expects to treat about 200 people a year.

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