Federal Nationals Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan has welcomed the addition of two new services providing free support for people living with mild mental health illness.
Healthy North Coast, in partnership with Remedy Healthcare, has announced the new mental health services for the North Coast.
Mr Conaghan said the NSW Nationals in the federal government had invested $2.3 billion in this year’s Budget towards better mental health and suicide prevention.
“I want to congratulate Healthy North Coast for understanding the real need for more services for mental health,” Mr Conaghan said.
“With these new services, people should not feel reluctant to talk about mental health. We need to talk more about mental health and I encourage people to do so.”
Healthy North Coast CEZO Julie Sturgess said access to these services is a priority.
“For people needing support with managing stress or worry, it’s so important that we have services available to provide help when and where needed, so that support can be accessed early,” Ms Sturgess said.
Remedy Healthcare is launching the MindStep and Healing Minds telephone and online services. Both are free, easily accessible, and do not require a referral by a GP or healthcare professional.
To access MindStep, call 1800 322 278 or visit remedyhealthcare.com.au
Mr Conaghan also welcomed a grant that will see improved facilities for young people utilising Coffs Harbour headspace services.
The $438,118 grant is part of the NSW Nationals in the federal government’s $26 million investment to ensure young people can access mental health services where they need them and when they need them.
The Coffs Harbour headspace centre will undergo renovations including sound proofing of rooms to increase availability of spaces and improve privacy, IT upgrades, and the creation of dedicated rooms for brief intervention and for telehealth appointments.
“headspace has been experiencing high demand for its services and this funding will help them expand their services and improve access to high quality, youth-friendly mental health support,” Mr Conaghan said.
“One in four young Australians are affected by a mental illness every year. Many young people have also been substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, making it more important than ever to ensure access to youth mental health services.”
The funding reinforces the NSW Nationals in the federal government’s strong commitment to achieving better mental health for all Australians and will complement a record investment of $6.5 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services in 2021-22.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through headspace (headspace.org.au), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), Lifeline (13 11 14), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).