Far North Queenslanders will have easier access to mental health support with the Morrison Government today announcing a new Head to Health adult mental health service in the area.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch welcomed the announcement of additional mental health services, which will be a major boost to community-based mental health services.
“The Morrison Government continues to make the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians a national priority,” Mr Entsch said.
“Head to Health services, like the one being established here in Cairns, are designed to provide a welcoming, stigma-free entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and supports.
“I encourage people who are worried about their own or a loved one’s mental health to visit this centre.
“The services are free, and referrals can also be made for more intensive mental health care or social supports if needed.”
The Cairns Head to Health satellite service is part of a network of community-based mental health services being established around 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.
Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said this was one of many Head to Health satellite services being established across the country to provide mental health support to Australians experiencing mental health challenges.
“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,” Mr 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,” Mr 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.”
The Cairns Head to Health satellite service will be commissioned by the local Primary Health Network which will receive a total of $3.4 million over four years to establish and operate the satellite.
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.
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