Busy Forrestfield aid service to shut

Duncan Edgar at the Foothills Information and Referral Service in |Forrestfield.  Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au   d439194
Duncan Edgar at the Foothills Information and Referral Service in |Forrestfield. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au d439194

FORRESTFIELD counsellor Duncan Edgar said stories he heard of financial hardship were heart-wrenching.

Mr Edgar said he had never seen so many people seeking help since he had started working at the Foothills Information and Referral Service in 1994.

“Every day people come in to access the service who are unable to meet their power bills and rent or mortgage repayments, and often facing disconnection and homelessness, and have the bailiff at the door,” Mr Edgar said.

“We are seeing a lot more mental health issues at the moment and people having breakdowns and unable to work.

“How will they find out about this service and fend for themselves?”

Mr Edgar has been working in the field for 21 years and said this was the busiest time he had ever experienced.

“We have to turn people away now as we can’t take any new clients,” he said.

Mr Duncan said the service was experiencing very high demand.

“It’s been like this for the past two years, just really, really busy and there is not really anywhere for these people to go if they can’t access this type of service in the future,” he said.

“With the intensity of the problems some people have, we just can’t counsel them over the phone; they need a lot more support.”

Mr Edgar said he was disturbed that the service was being cut when people needed it most.

“That will create a flow-on effect in society of mental illness and poverty rather than a resolution for people who need support,” he said.