Growing demand for mental health services on the South Coast has led to the implementation of a three-stage plan developed by Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer and being implemented by the Coalition Government.
Ms Downer said $1.2 million was already available for additional psychological services through Primary Health Networks on the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, and in the Adelaide Hills.
“The first stage of our plan is already underway, providing additional psychological services for treating conditions like anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder,” she said.
“Back in July I hosted the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, on a visit to Mayo to discuss these and other services with key stakeholders on the South Coast.
“The Minister and I have had many discussions since then about growing mental health and dangerous illicit drug use problems in the region, resulting in suicides and other impacts.
“Minister Hunt has been working with me to ensure the South Coast is a priority for the Coalition Government’s $20 million drug and alcohol rehabilitation funding for regional and remote Australia – this is the second stage of our plan.
“The third is to deliver additional Headspace services to the region. Headspace has been very effective in breaking down the barriers to mental health support and treatment faced by young people, and there’s a growing need for such services on the South Coast.”
Ms Downer said around four million Australians deal with some form of chronic or episodic mental health condition every year.
“Community acceptance and support for people suffering mental health problems are absolutely critical to ensuring we have the resources, services and treatments needed to help, and that people with such conditions feel comfortable to seek that help,” she said.
“Australian governments already spend about to $9 billion a year on mental health (the Federal Government will spend an estimated $4.7 billion in 2018-19) but as our understanding of it increases, so does the need to ensure we’re directing this funding to where it is most effective.”