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
Senator Dr Sam McMahon
Senator for the Northern Territory
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
18 January 2022
As part of a major national rollout of mental health services, a Head to Health centre is now open in Darwin. People living in the Darwin region seeking assistance for their mental health will have access to critical additional services providing quality support.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman and Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon, today welcomed the official opening of Darwin’s new Head to Health centre at 16 Scaturchio Street, Casuarina.
“We know that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many Australians,” Minister Hunt said.
“Making sure people have access to quality mental health services no matter where they live is a Morrison Government priority.
“The Government’s investment in Head to Health centres like this one in Darwin will boost mental health and wellbeing access and support. It will save lives and improve lives.”
The services provided at the Casuarina centre are recovery focused, trauma informed and person-centred.
Assistant Minister David Coleman said, “Head to Health centres are designed to provide a welcoming, low stigma, ‘no wrong door’ entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and supports.
“For local residents, better access to a multidisciplinary team operating over extended hours, without needing a prior appointment or paying a fee, makes it easier to ask for and get help, Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“The opening of this centre seeks to ensure people in Darwin and the region have access to culturally appropriate, high quality, person-centred care—where and when they need it. It is a place where people can come to rest, yarn and heal.
“The centre will provide a safe place for people experiencing high levels of distress, or who are at heightened risk of suicide.”
Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon welcomed the opening of the new centre and said, “It will help people get the support they need by providing care where there aren’t any available services appropriate to their needs or while they are waiting to be connected to longer-term care.”
“Our Government is committed to improving mental health services across Australia and here in the Northern Territory. To do so, we have invested considerable funding to improve services now and into the future,” Dr McMahon said.
“This centre will integrate with other services to address fragmentation and offer seamless care pathways, with an emphasis on ensuring consumers and carers do not need to retell their story.”
Minister Hunt said the new Head to Health Darwin centre will also play an essential role in the community by supporting local GPs, private and public hospitals and emergency departments by providing accessible mental health care.
Assistant Minister Coleman confirmed the Morrison Government’s commitment to working towards zero suicides and transforming the mental health system to ensure that all Australians can access the right care and essential services whenever and wherever they need.
The service has been commissioned by the Northern Territory Primary Health Network and will be operated by Neami National in partnership with Larrakia Nation.
As part of the 2019–20 Budget, the Government committed $114.5 million to fund the trial of eight ‘Head to Health’ Adult Mental Health Centres, with one centre to be established in each state and territory, including $14 million for Darwin Head to Health.
An additional $487.2 million was announced under the 2021–22 Budget to expand the program to an additional 32 sites (eight new centres and 24 satellites) and provide ongoing funding for the initial eight trial sites.
The Morrison Government is providing unprecedented funding and support for mental health, investing a record $2.3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, delivering significant reform of the mental health system and ensuring all Australians have access to high quality, person-centred care.
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.
Anyone experiencing distress can also 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.
If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.