Those living in the Limestone Coast will have easier access to mental health services with the Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP today announcing a new Head to Health adult mental health satellite service for Mount Gambier.
Mr Pasin has been advocating for a Head to Health service since the announcement of 24 new satellite centres as part of the 2021-22 Budget in May last year.
Since then, Mr Pasin has worked with Local Government and existing mental health service providers to advocate for one of the 24 satellite centres to be located in Mount Gambier.
“I’m grateful to everyone across the Limestone Coast who signed the petition and wrote letters of support that I was then able to hand to the Health Minister in Canberra. This backed up what I had been saying- that the Limestone Coast needed more mental health services and should be included in the Federal Government’s Head to Health initiative,” Mr Pasin said.
“Much like a Headspace for adults, Head to Health satellite services, like the one that will be established here in the Limestone Coast are designed to provide a welcoming, low stigma, ‘no wrong door’, entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and supports.
Mr Pasin said the services at the Head to Health satellite will be free, and referrals can also be made for more intensive mental health care or social supports if needed.
“It’s a fantastic initiative by the Coalition Government and I’m confident that Head to Health will offer an important link in the network of services existing here in the Limestone Coast.
The Mount Gambier Head to Health satellite service is part of a network of community-based mental health services being established across Australia as part of the Government’s $3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform of the mental health system.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said this was one of many Head to Health satellite services being established around the country.
“We know that the pandemic and the measures taken to contain it have been incredibly difficult and stressful for many Australians, and particularly younger Australians,” Minister Hunt said.
“That is why we are prioritising mental health support, ensuring that young people have access to care that can help them recover and reach their full potential as we reopen the country.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said mental health and suicide prevention remained one of the Morrison Government’s highest priorities.
“We are committed to further expanding mental health services to ensure Australians can get support, counselling, or treatment, when and where they need it,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“These services will provide that much needed support, as well as creating a safe space for Australians experiencing high levels of distress or who are at heightened risk of suicide.”
Mount Gambier Head to Health satellite service will be commissioned by the local Primary Health Network (PHN) which will receive a total of $3.4 million over four years from 2022 to establish and operate the centre. The PHN will consult with the community to determine the exact location and ensure that the centre provides services in a way that meets the needs of the local community.
The satellite will be integrated within the primary care setting to offer support to adults with moderate to severe levels of mental illness over the short to medium term.
The Morrison Government continues to make mental health a national priority, investing a record $3 billion in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 Budgets for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform of the mental health system.
This brings the Health portfolio expenditure in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2022–23 to a record high of $6.8 billion.
Unlike the Labor Party, which has not given Australians any detail on their plans for mental health, the Morrison Government will continue to ensure that all Australians can access information, advice, counselling, or treatment, when and where they need it.
Only the Morrison Government will continue to deliver a better future for Barker, and this is part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.
Anyone experiencing distress can 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).
Australians looking for support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service any time via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.