Free treatment, care and support for people who are experiencing mental health concerns will soon be available in Bairnsdale and Orbost, ensuring people seeking mental health services can access care closer to home and close to their support networks.
State Nationals MP for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, who has been advocating for increased services for some time, said the opening of the Mental Health and Well Being Local Hubs in Orbost and Bairnsdale should be imminent, after being promised almost 18 months ago.
“Having questioned the Minister last year I was advised they would be open “from mid-2023” and we have just passed that point in time, so when Parliament resumes this week, I will be seeking an update and also confirming the commitment I received that outreach services into homes and remote communities would be provided,” Mr Bull said.
“These services will support locals to engage directly with mental health providers, assisting people to seek the help and treatment they need, close to home.
“The best part about the mental health hubs is that no referral is necessary and that they will operate under a no wrong door philosophy.
“I am delighted to have two Mental Health and Well Being Hubs established in my electorate as for many, it will remove the need to travel for services and that is why the outreach component is so important.
“As a result, the local mental health workforce capacity will be strengthened, and it will alleviate the patient load on our hardworking providers who’ve supported or community as well as they possibly could throughout periods of drought, fire and Covid.
“East Gippsland has put up with a lot over recent years and these supports are overdue.
“The Royal Commission into Mental Health recommended the Victorian Government establish a new mental health system, as the current model was failing.
“While there is plenty more work to be done, I will push to expedite the opening of the Mental Health and Well Being Hubs here in East Gippsland and support the placement of additional mental health treatment facilities and response hubs across regional Victoria,” Mr Bull said.