On 17 August 2020, the Australian Government announced $26.9 million of new funding to establish 15 dedicated mental health clinics (hubs) across Victoria to increase support for Victorians during the pandemic.
In the past week, Victoria’s six Primary Health Networks have rapidly mobilised, launching a collaborative effort to get these new mental health services operating as quickly as possible.
Three of the 15 hubs will be in North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network’s region. There will be nine Melbourne metropolitan hubs in total and another six hubs in regional Victoria.
The hubs will:
- Give Victorians access to multidisciplinary teams of mental health workers, including psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, and alcohol and drug workers to provide extra support during the pandemic.
- Be located in existing GP clinics or other community health sites.
- Provide on-site mental health support with referrals to more intensive care or social supports if needed.
We know mental health issues don’t discriminate, therefore services are planned to support all in our community, from young people to older people, many who have never before experienced mental ill-health and are facing escalating challenges due to the pandemic.
We are working with the Victorian and Australian governments, the other Victorian PHNs, the Victorian Mental Health Taskforce and other stakeholders to identify the most suitable locations. This is where the mental health need is greatest and there is capacity to get these hubs up and running safely and quickly.
Where people find it difficult to physically visit the hubs, care will be provided through telehealth and other online contact.
How do I stay informed of progress?
What services are available in the meantime?
- Our CAREinMIND™ Wellbeing Support Service offers free 24/7 phone and online support for everyone living, working or studying in north western Melbourne. No referral is needed and interpreters are available. Phone 1300 096 269
- If you need more intensive support, our System of Care offers free, comprehensive mental health, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug services. You will need to see your GP first in most cases for a referral to ensure that your care is coordinated
- If you are a GP or other health care worker, please consider the self care resources on our COVID-19 hub.
- The Victorian Government and the Australian Government also list many resources
- Beyond Blue’s coronavirus mental health service is available on 1800 512 348
- Smiling Mind – Kids Mental Health
The following hotlines provide urgent assistance:
- Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
- SuicideLine Victoria: 1300 651 251
- Kids Helpline: 1800 187 263
- Mens Line Australia: 1300 789 978
- Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling: 1800 011 046
- 1800 Respect: 1800 737 732
- Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
- Switchboard Victoria: 1800 184 527
If you don’t feel like you can call any of the above services, you can also:
- Talk to someone you trust
- Contact your GP, a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist
In an emergency call 000 or visit a hospital emergency department.
P: 0438 356 312