St Vincent de Paul Society has opened a new op shop in Mosman Park with a focus on helping those struggling with mental health problems.
This will be the 53rd Vinnies store opened in the state aimed at assisting disadvantaged West Australians across a range of different sectors.
Last year Vinnies supported more than 40,000 West Australians and distributed roughly $3 million to those in need.
Vinnies’ marketing, public image, and communications manager Louise Macfarlane emphasised the importance of op shops.
“The impact of opening another shop is really significant, it means we can support more people, it’s as simple as that,” she said.
The opening of the store supports the local community, including some who are claimed to be at or below the poverty line.
Mosman Park is a diverse community with high rise state housing units and also luxury homes for the very wealthy.
Vinnies’ believes its mental health program is vital to the support of young people with mental health challenges.
Area manager of Vinnies Sue Wilson said she worked out last year if Vinnies discontinued its mental health program the government would have to pay more than $8 million.
“I believe in our society mental health gets swept under the carpet … a lot of government bodies talk about mental health, they throw the words around because they know it’s important but they don’t really do much about it,” she said.
Although Vinnies doesn’t have any affiliation with a political party, Ms Wilson said they are counting down to the May 18 election.
“We are totally bipartisan. In saying that the WA Labor Government and Premier Mark McGowan are very supportive, but they are supportive in general for non-for-profit organisations,” she said.
With more than 3,500 volunteers, Vinnies is able to reach their financial targets to help communities like Mosman Park.