Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman has welcomed Commonwealth funding for Family Drug Support Australia, a service started by a Blue Mountains resident following the heroin overdose death of his son.
Family Drug Support Founder and chief executive, Tony Trimingham, attended Federal Parliament in Canberra on Monday, February 24 for the fifth International Family Drug Support Day - 23 years to the day that his son, Damien, tragically died.
The federal government has announced it would provide $900,000 to the service so it could continue providing a free 24-hour support line for families dealing with drug issues over the next three years, a move that has been welcomed by Ms Templeman.
"This is a service that has been supporting families for more than 20 years, with volunteers working with people by phone through a major crisis in their lives," Ms Templeman said.
"Tony tells me that as well as expanding the service, one of the many things this funding will do is help bring its phone technology into the 21st century, so people can access help affordably from their mobile phone, and volunteers can use mobiles.
"More than 25,000 calls are answered by the service every year, and it really does play such a vital role for families who feel like they have nowhere else to go.
"Through its support line, meetings, education and interactive sessions, and bereavement services, Family Drug Support helps families re-focus and know that they are not alone.
"Several family members told moving stories of their experience of using the service, in Parliament today, and I think the unanimity of support from across the political spectrum shows how important the service really is."