Grant to improve Geelong’s mental health
THE Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) has welcomed the Morrison Government’s agreement to reallocate existing funds to support the Geelong Place-Based Suicide Prevention Initiative.
More than $530,00 will be redirected to the initiative over the next two years.
There have been five youth suicides reported in the Geelong region since January.
“Western Victoria PHN, as part of the local Geelong community, has been greatly saddened by recent events and we are keen to ensure a co-ordinated approach to addressing suicide,” WVPHN chief executive officer Rowena Clift said.
“We will be working to coordinate the place-based suicide prevention initiative with relevant stakeholders to build a more connected and integrated mental health system in the Geelong region.
“In addition, all mental health services and providers who have partnered with us from previously planned activities will be invited to participate in the initiative as key stakeholders.
“We will also be engaging with a diverse range of individuals to participate including people with a lived experience, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, members of the LGBTQI communities, teachers, families and carers.”
She said WVPHN met with National Mental Health Commission chief executive officer Christine Morgan last week, and also held an online information and education session on youth mental health with 78 general practitioners, mental health care practitioners and hospital clinicians from across Geelong – the first of three sessions planned for the coming weeks.”
Annette Mercuri will chair the initiative.
This week, WVPHN also met with the Education Department, Department of Health and Human Services, local mental health service providers, including headspace and the City of Greater Geelong to work on a co-ordinated approach to support young people’s mental health in the region.
Several initiatives were discussed, including WVPHN potentially coordinating local efforts and further engaging with the primary health care sector in suicide prevention, especially for youth.
Victorian Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson acknowledged the efforts of the group in coming together rapidly and collaboratively to provide support.
“The inter-agency group, which was established back in February, is a key example of how we all need to work together to prevent and respond to suicide.”
If you need help, phone Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14, headspace on 1800 650 890 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.