The Coalition Government is investing in a stronger psychiatry workforce to deliver mental health services and support where and when people need it, including in Mount Gambier.
From this year, the region will benefit as a training location as part of an $11.9 million funding agreement with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the RANZCP would work with local service providers to identify the best way to ensure trainee psychiatrists were well supported while providing safe and quality services to the community.
Mr Pasin has been actively advocating for increased mental health services for the Limestone Coast amongst his Federal Coalition colleagues in Canberra.
“Like most regional and remote areas of the country, the Limestone Coast has endured a lot during the pandemic and local mental health care services have provided vital support to the community,” Mr Pasin said.
“The Government has recognised the need and I welcome this investment as one piece of the puzzle in the ongoing wellbeing of the local community,”
“In addition to this, I will continue to advocate for a Head to Health satellite centre to address the ‘missing middle’ service gap,” Mr Pasin said.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt said one in every 5 Australians — about 4 million people — suffer from a mental illness in any given year, and almost half the population experience a mental disorder at some time in their life.
“More Australians are reaching out for help when it comes to mental health issues, ending decades of stigmatisation on the issue,” Minister Hunt said.
“This investment will increase training posts and expand into places outside of public hospitals, increase capacity and reduce barriers to the recruitment and retention of psychiatrists, including here in the Limestone Coast.”
“Through a $2.3 billion investment in the 2021-22 Budget, our Government is transforming the mental health system to ensure that all Australians can access, high-quality, person-centred care when and where it is needed.”
Minister for Regional Health, David Gillespie, said the funding would boost psychiatry training and education in rural and remote Australia.
“The RANZCP will encourage and ultimately retain trainees, so they have the opportunity to stay and practice in rural and remote Australia to provide more local services for patients in Mount Gambier,” Minister Gillespie said.
This funding will allow the RANZCP to:
The new funding is part of the Coalition Government’s unprecedented funding and support for mental health, including a record $2.3 billion in the 2021-22 Budget for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan which is delivering significant reform of the mental health system and ensuring all Australians have access to high quality, person-centred care.
Australians looking for support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service anytime via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au
Anyone experiencing distress can also seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).