HeadtoHelp mental health hub to open in Geelong
People in the Greater Geelong area experiencing mental ill-health due to the stresses of COVID-19 will be able to access support services at a new HeadtoHelp mental health hub at Barwon Health North.
The new mental health service is one of 15 being set up around Victoria and among six in regional Victoria, following $26.9 million in funding from the Federal Government as part of its response to the current pandemic.
Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) CEO Rowena Clift said HeadtoHelp – Barwon Health North would be available to anyone in the community with or without a GP mental health treatment plan.
“Mental health issues don’t discriminate. Many people in the Geelong area may have never experienced mental ill-health before and are facing new challenges due to COVID-19,” Ms Clift said.
"HeadtoHelp will provide a welcoming place for those people alongside anyone else who needs mental health and wellbeing support.
“The Geelong community has been hit hard by the consequences of the pandemic including increases in unemployment over recent months and strains on local businesses taking their toll on many households.
"We are all living in extraordinary times. For many people, the ability to cope with circumstances and events they’ve never faced before is stretching their emotional and mental health and wellbeing."
Barwon Health clinical director of Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Services, Associate Professor Steve Moylan, said his team was excited to work with the PHN to deliver this important initiative that will enhance the services available to people with mental health concerns in our region.
"This service will enhance existing mental health services across Geelong, providing further options for people to access care when and where they need it," he said.
Ms Clift said WVPHN had worked closely with primary care services, hospitals, the Victorian Mental Health Pandemic Response Taskforce and the State and Federal Governments in identifying Barwon Health North as a suitable location for the local hub.
“Like our fellow PHNs, we are taking a staged approach to setting up the hubs which will be“Like our fellow PHNs, we are taking a staged approach to setting up the hubs which will be operational from tomorrow," she said.
"We’ve quickly mobilised to set up the hub and a new 1800phone number so people throughout our region can access the services.
"We plan to work alongside health professionals and others in the community to further build the resources and services to meet local needs.”
HeadtoHelp will work alongside existing State and Federally funded mental health support services to provide a seamless and no-cost service when guiding people seeking help to the support that best meets their individual situation.
To contact HeadtoHelp, call 1800 595 212.
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