Hepburn Shire Council will work closely with Central Highlands Rural Health to support local community members affected by recent storm and flood events.

A recent funding allocation will enable the employment of Recovery Support Workers, to focus on providing individualised psychosocial recovery support to people within the Hepburn Shire who were impacted by the January 2022 storm and flood event. It will also support a community recovery program for select groups and residents.

Maree Cuddihy, CEO of Central Highlands Rural Health, said, “We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Hepburn Shire Council, to support the recovery of community members from the January 2022 floods.

“This severe weather storm event had damaging winds, large hailstones, and flash flooding that left extensive debris and damaged a number of properties. Our Community Health and Wellbeing team are all onboard to help our community recover, and this funding is important to support people who may be struggling following the January flood event, and the subsequent flooding in Creswick.

“The funding allows our local community members additional access to social work support, which is an important element on the pathway to recovery,” Maree said.

The funding allocation covers psychosocial support to be delivered by suitable members of the CHRH Community Health and Wellbeing (Mental Wellbeing) team, along with 200 hours of community recovery programming for select residents. The funding is to include provision of psychological services and specialisations such as AOD, family violence, youth and children, where required.

This support is available now. To access these services people can either self-refer, or be referred via a Hepburn Shire Case Manager (Storm Recovery) on  (03) 4373 7373.

Bradley Thomas, Hepburn Shire CEO, said, “Communities in regional Victoria have had a challenging time with COVID, and recent severe storms have undoubtedly added to that strain.

“We look forward to working closely with Central Highlands Rural Health to provide essential support to our Hepburn Shire community, particularly those struggling and needing assistance.”