The much-anticipated Head to Health facility announced by Member for Barker Tony Pasin in April this year has progressed a step further with funding confirmed and the commissioning process due to open for applications from potential providers on Wednesday 7 September.
Mr Pasin said the Head to Health rollout was a key initiative of the former Coalition Government, who embarked on landmark reform of the mental health system.
“While in Government, the Coalition invested a record $6.8 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services in the 2022/23,” Mr Pasin said.
“The Coalition has a track record in delivering easy to access mental health support for Australians, establishing the headspace model in 2006 and then initiating the Head to Health rollout in 2021 with Mount Gambier being one of the initial locations for the adult mental health support services,” Mr Pasin said.
Much like the service headspace offers to young people of the Limestone Coast, the Head to Health satellite centre will offer a welcoming, low stigma, ‘no wrong door’ entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and support.
“Upon being elected in 2013, I set about advocating within Government for a headspace in Mount Gambier which was delivered in 2016. Now, the successful campaign for the Head to Health facility will offer another important link in the network of services existing here in the Limestone Coast,” Mr Pasin said.
The Mount Gambier Head to Health Satellite site is being commissioned by Country SA PHN (Primary Health Network), which will receive a total of $3.4 million from the Federal Government over the next four years to establish and operate the centre, which they expect to be up and running this financial year.
“Country SA PHN is pleased to be able to commission another much-needed adult mental health service for the region” said Country SA PHN Chief Executive Officer Mark Hartigan.
“The Head to Health site will offer the Limestone Coast community access to care and advice from mental health professionals when they need it most and without needing a prior appointment.”
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 2021.
Mr Pasin held two community meetings to coordinate support and then presented a petition to Minister Greg Hunt in February 2022.
Head to Health for Mount Gambier was then announced by the Coalition Government in April 2021.
This follows Mr Pasin advocating for and delivering a headspace for Mount Gambier in 2016.
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