4th of July mental health funds to refurbish Tamworth's Dean House

Community mental health acting service manager Tiffany Cotton, peer support worker Yarif Freestone, Aboriginal mental health clinician Shelly Baker, registered nurse Peter Curren, and donor Tyler-Jane Lumsden.
Community mental health acting service manager Tiffany Cotton, peer support worker Yarif Freestone, Aboriginal mental health clinician Shelly Baker, registered nurse Peter Curren, and donor Tyler-Jane Lumsden.

THE $10,000 proceeds of a fundraiser will be used to create a more “approachable, inviting, warm environment” for people in need of mental health help.

The money will be used to refurbish public areas in community mental health service Dean House, and the freshen-up is hoped to be complete in about a month.

The donor, Tamworth woman Tyler-Jane Lumsden, said she hoped the new look would help encourage people to get help without being put off by surroundings that were “not very inviting”.

A former patient of the service, she and her supporters raised the money through a 4th of July event at the Tudor in Tamworth.

After asking them and staff where the money would be best-used, it was decided to refurbish firstly the interview room.

“One thing I noticed as a patient was that it was so depressing; like a police interview room,” Miss Lumsden said.

“I felt like I’d done something wrong … It was not very inviting.”

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The other focus will be a multi-purpose room, which she envisages brightening up with beanbags and wall murals; and kitting out with books and iPads to further help people with their needs.

She hopes that room could also be used for meditation, exercise and educational activities.

But her ultimate aim is to boost the service’s human resources.

“We’re going to make the money go as far as we can and hopefully that will spread awareness – and get some input from the government to get more money for more staff.”

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