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
19 May 2022
Boost to mental health services in Edmondson Park
Australians in Sydney’s South West will have easier access to mental health services with a re-elected Morrison Government today announcing that a new Head to Health adult mental health service will be established in Edmondson Park.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said that the new facility, funded through the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan in the 2021-22 Budget, would be an important boost to community-based mental health services in Sydney’s South West.
“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 everyone has access to care that can help them recover and reach their full potential as we reopen the country.
“Head to Health services, like the that will be established in Edmondson Park, are designed to provide a welcoming, stigma-free entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and supports.
“By providing free or low-cost mental health services, the Head to Health satellite will play an important role in helping the community in the Edmondson Park area to thrive in the coming years.”
The service will be 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 deliver landmark reform of the mental health system.
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.”
Liberal candidate for Werriwa, Sam Kayal, welcomed the commitment, saying that the service will play an essential role in keeping people in the community well by providing easy access to expert support in a safe and confidential environment.
“During the past two years, so many people have struggled with their mental health. It is really important that anyone who is worried about their own or a loved one’s mental health to reach out for support,” Mr Kaval said.
“The new service in Edmondson Park will make it easier to get access to that much needed care. The services are free, and referrals can also be made for more intensive mental health care or social supports if needed.”
The Edmondson Park Head to Health satellite service will be commissioned by the South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (PHN) which will receive a total of $3.4 million over four years to establish and operate the satellite. The PHN will consult with the local community to ensure that the satellite provides services in a way that meets their needs.
The service will be integrated within a 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).