Funding for mental health, suicide prevention services

Coordinare chief Dianne Kitcher says the organisation has been working closely with a number of groups to understand the region's mental health and suicide prevention needs, with $4.3 million to be spent on new services.

Coordinare chief Dianne Kitcher says the organisation has been working closely with a number of groups to understand the region's mental health and suicide prevention needs, with $4.3 million to be spent on new services.

Millions of dollars will be spent on new mental health and suicide prevention services across the Illawarra and south-eastern NSW.

Coordinare – the South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network (PHN) – announced on Monday that more than $4.3 million would fund a suite of services from July.

Psychological therapies for hard to reach groups, support for complex mental health needs and support/intervention to people presenting to emergency departments after a suicide attempt will be among the services funded.

Coordinare chief executive Dianne Kitcher said the new services would specifically target those most in need.

“Local consumers and carers will benefit greatly from the more tailored treatment options,” Ms Kitcher said

“The new services will also complement existing services in the region, and ensure more people in our region can access the right care that meets their particular needs.”

Ms Kitcher said general practice would continue to play a role in supporting people’s mental health needs.

“GPs will need to refer people to these new services so we will be working closely with general practice to ensure existing staff are upskilled and understand what services are available and how to refer to them,” she said.

Meanwhile, funding for the PHN’s four headspace centres – in Wollongong, Nowra, Goulburn and Queanbeyan – has been guaranteed until June 30, 2018.

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