The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
5 May 2022
Boost to mental health services in Canterbury
Australians in Canterbury will have greater access to mental health support with the Morrison Government today announcing a new Head to Health adult mental health service in the area.
The Canterbury Health satellite service is part of a network of community-based mental health services being established around Australia as part of the Morrison Government’s $3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to deliver landmark reform of the mental health system.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said this was one of many Head to Health 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,” Minister Hunt said.
“That is why we are prioritising mental health support, ensuring that 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.”
The Canterbury Head to Health service will be commissioned by the Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network (CESPHN) which will receive a total of $3.4 million over four years from 2021-22 to establish and operate the satellite. The PHN will consult with the community to determine the exact location and ensure that the hub provides services in a way that meets the needs of the local community.
Liberal candidate for Barton, John Goody, welcomed the announcement of the new centre, which was funded through the Morrison Government’s historic National Mental Health and Suicide Plan announced in the 2021-22 Budget.
“Australian’s mental health suffered during the pandemic and that is why the Morrison Government continues to make mental health care a priority,” Mr Goody said.
“The new Head to Health Centre in Canterbury will be a major boost to critical mental health services in the region and will provide a safe, welcoming, stigma-free entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and supports.
“This fantastic local resource will be free, and referrals can also be made for more intensive mental health care or social supports if needed.”
The service 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), Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au).