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TO assist local people experiencing mental health challenges during these “difficult times”, tollway operator EastLink has donated $100,000 to the charity Beyond Blue.

This brings EastLink’s total for donations during 2021 to $400,000.

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the Victorian economy, increasing unemployment and underemployment, and many businesses have closed,” the company said in a statement.

EastLink is the 39 kilometre tollway in Melbourne’s east, connecting the Eastern, Monash, Frankston and Peninsula Link freeways.

EastLink corporate affairs manager Doug Spencer-Roy said, “EastLink recognises that some local people living in the EastLink corridor have been directly affected and are experiencing financial hardship, mental health issues and family violence.

“As a leader in transport sustainability, EastLink is privileged to be able to deliver this significant program of donations to these essential services in our local community.”

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Beyond Blue is Australia’s most well-known and visited mental health organisation, focused on supporting people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide.

The organisation’s chief community officer Patrice O’Brien said they were grateful for EastLink’s generous donation.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen more and more people contacting our services for support and we see this as good sign.

“It means people are increasingly comfortable talking about their mental health and are taking steps to manage their wellbeing,” Ms O’Brien said.

“Every dollar we receive from EastLink will go to the Beyond Blue Support Service, which is staffed by skilled mental health professionals who are ready to provide free counselling, advice and referrals 24/7 to everyone in Australia.”

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