RESIDENTS with mental health illnesses have access to more support with the opening of a new branch of federal government initiative Aftercare in Castle Hill.
As part of the initiative, a new Personal Helpers and Mentors service is operating in Hoyle Avenue.
During the inauguration at the Castle Hill Community Centre on February 12, chief executive John Malone said the program helps "hundreds of people" around Australia.
Max Willcocks, a client from the Penrith program, was a chronic gambler for 10 years.
"I have been in seven different institutions for treatment for depression and episodes of psychosis since the age of 19," the 60-year-old said.
"The program provided an alternate way of dealing with my problems by assisting me in setting goals and putting a strategy in place."
Mr Willcocks started his treatment five years ago and has not gambled for 14 months.
He has returned to university and is studying to become a teacher.
■ Details: aftercare.com.au or 9849 5250.