Funding set for mental health group

Dan Tehan

Dan Tehan

Mental health resources are set for a big boost with Wannon MP Dan Tehan announcing funding for Western Victoria Primary Health Network on Wednesday.

The $1.1 million increase will support services aimed at people living with severe and enduring mental illness with the funding to benefit both patients and nurses.

Mr Tehan said PHNs need extra support with some changes they are introducing into their programs.

“PHNs are currently implementing new service models which aim to provide local solutions that meet local needs,” Mr Tehan said.

“This funding is to support the transition to new approaches of providing mental health services.

“Mental health services are not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and mental health nurses play an important role in assisting in individualised stepped-care and recovery approaches.”

Western Victoria has a rate higher than the national average for adults who are experiencing high or very high psychological distress with the 11.9 per cent rate sitting .5 above the overall total.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Turnbull Government remains committed to making sure that mental health services are available where and when people need them.

“Mental health nurses perform a wide range of valuable roles within the community from promoting optimal mental health, preventing physical and mental ill health, and providing clinical and therapeutic interventions,” he said. “They are a vital component of our primary mental health care teams.”

Western Victoria PHN plays an important part in the community by identifying priority health care needs.

It also improves access through government funding, and co-designs localised solutions to improve health care systems across western Victoria. The PHN offers services to an area with more than 500,000 people.

For anyone experiencing mental health issues, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.