Did you know that 1 in 5 people in Australia with mental illnesses will come into contact with the criminal justice system at least once in their life? This overwhelming statistic clearly demonstrates that those suffering from mental health illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the criminal justice system.
For people at risk of offending or re-offending, there is a pressing need for mental health services that offer essential support and guidance. Read on to learn about five incredible support services that are treating mental health and supporting people as they reintegrate into our society after serving their sentence.
- Kaged Lions:
Did you know that men in Australia are three times more likely to commit suicide than women? In many of these cases, the deceased is never diagnosed with having a mental illness. These shocking statistics demonstrate that for many men, mental health simply isn’t being spoken about.
Our founder, Lauren Cassamatis, proudly supports the work of Kaged Lions as their Melbourne Ambassador. Kaged Lions offers a support network for men affected by mental health issues. Their team is dedicated to breaking the social stigma of what it ‘means to be a man.’ At Kaged Lions, men are given permission to speak freely about their emotions and their mental health. Through programs, support networks, education and inspiration, Kaged Lions provides men with the support, encouragement and confidence to speak through their issues and know they are not alone.
Get in touch with Kaged Lions here: https://kagedlions.com/contact
Every minute, someone in Australia makes a call to Lifeline.
A national charity providing 24/7 support to all Australians, Lifeline provides help through topics such as suicidal thoughts and attempts, anxiety, personal crises, depression, loneliness, abuse, family stress and trauma. In addition to a 24/7 crisis line, Lifeline also offers an online support chat and a range of face-to-face services at both the national and local level. With a vision to make Australia suicide free, Lifeline is dedicated to ensuring everyday Australians know help is only a call away.
Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 – 44. If you or anyone you know is impacted by thoughts of suicide, contact Lifeline immediately on 13 11 14.
For more information about Lifeline’s services, click here: https://www.lifeline.org.au/about-lifeline/lifeline-information/lifelines-services
GROW is a community-based organisation offering support services for people suffering from mental illness. GROW has helped thousands of Australians recover from mental health issues by providing programs focused on mutual support and personal development. Founded by a team who experienced mental illness first-hand, GROW’s programs are developed from the advice that helped their founders overcome their own mental health struggles.
GROW runs a range of programs for people to get involved in, even offering a special program for young people and a caregiver program. For those who are physically unable to participate in GROW programs, the organisation offers an online program.
To learn more about GROW, visit: https://www.grow.org.au
ASCO is an Australian community support organisation dedicated to ending the cycle of crime. ASCO understands that transitioning back into society is often incredibly difficult. In many cases, reintegration can lead to re-offending. With the operational goals of ‘recover, rehabilitate and reintegrate’, ASCO strives to give people another chance. ASCO’s vision is of a safe and inclusive Australia, free of crime and prisoners. This organisation offers services for substance abuse, mental health, disability support, leaving prison, housing support and employment support. Whether you’re at risk of re-offending, offending for the first time or needing assistance settling back into the community, ASCO can help.
ASCO has a state office in Richmond. More information can be found here:
The Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO) aims to support offenders and their families upon arrest, during imprisonment and upon release. VACRO believes the community has a responsibility to help offenders re-transition safely back into the community.
For those leaving prison, VACRO offers a ‘relink’ and ‘reconnect’ program to aid in offenders re-transition. VACRO also understands that contact with the criminal justice system greatly affects an offender’s family. Studies show that children who have parental contact with the criminal justice system are at a higher probability of re-offending later in life. VACRO’s services feature a video visits program for children as well as a Parent and Family Program. For mothers leaving prison, the Association offers practical support for women with children through the Child Care and Transport Subsidy Program. For a full list of VACRO’s services, visit:
Each of these services understands the powerful ways in which support can save a person. Remember, it’s always okay to ask for help.