New drug and alcohol service for women – Dianella Cottage Lithgow Outreach Service

Dianella Cottage Lithgow Outreach Service – Dianella Cottage case manager Maria Dege, counsellor Lesley Hamlyn and program manager Antonia Ravesi. Photo Lithgow Mercury

Powerful words of women fighting their addictions were read out at the launch of the new drug and alcohol service for Lithgow women on Thursday, April 27.   This article originally appeared in the Lithgow Mercury 27 April 2017.

“Yes, you have consistently been there, yes you have been reliable, dependable and you’ve kept me company, you been there for me through the lonely days, months, years…

“Now you need to know that things are changing…”

The Dianella Cottage Lithgow Outreach Service, operated by Lyndon Community, provides non-residential treatment for women with drug and alcohol and mental health issues and specialises in post-traumatic stress and complex trauma.

Women often find it difficult to attend residential treatment due to the demands of caring for children.

“The beauty of having a service that comes to Lithgow means that women accessing that service don’t have to travel,” Federal member for Calare Andrew Gee said at the launch.

Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network commissioned the service from funding by the Australian Government’s National Ice Action Strategy.

Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network (NBMPHN) CEO Lizz Reay said the network had undertaken extensive planning and consultation to ensure that the service met the specific needs of the community.

“Key stakeholders have told us there is a pressing need for local services especially non-residential programs which allow women to seek treatment while caring for their children,” she said.

“This is a new service for Lithgow and we have worked hard to ensure it is integrated with other regional health services.

“The Dianella Cottage Service is an important first step in addressing the needs of the Lithgow community and it will be part of a suite of services for the Nepean Blue Mountains region that we will announce over coming months. NBMPHN is currently investigating a men’s non-residential rehabilitation service.

“NBMPHN will also continue working closely with GPs and allied health professionals to provide education and support that increase their ability to respond.”

Lyndon Community also operates a live in program in Orange and provides community-based programs to the Central West, Blue Mountains and the Bega region.

Dianella Cottage Lithgow Outreach Service program manager Antonia Ravesi took the opportunity to read ‘Letters to Substance’ written by women completing the programs.

The heart-felt letters, beautifully penned, touched many of the audience members. Ms Ravesi was told people were blinking back tears listening to the honest words.

If you or someone you know would benefit from using this service please contact Lyndon on 1300 596 366.

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