Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has announced a mental health investment of $6 million in the Parkes electorate, further supporting communities affected by the drought.
The funding is part of the Coalition Government’s additional $15.5 million to support mental health services throughout Australia, and will deliver $3 million each over two years from 2018-2019 to both Western New South Wales Primary Health Network (PHN), and Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN.
Western NSW PHN services towns in the Parkes electorate including Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Cobar, Condobolin, Coonabarabran, Lightning Ridge, Walgett and Wilcannia, while Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN services the Parkes towns of Gunnedah, Moree and Narrabri.
“This funding is a valuable investment in mental health and wellbeing in my electorate, by supporting community-led initiatives and improving resilience,” Mr Coulton said.
“$3.6 million is being invested to expand Medicare Benefit Services to enable local doctors in regional and remote drought affected areas to offer mental well-being support services via videoconferencing.
“This is the first time doctors will be able to offer the videoconferencing service to patients, and marks an exciting development for those in my electorate.”
$11.9 million in funding was recently announced by Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, expanding mental health services at six existing Primary Health Networks (PHNs) impacted by drought, and the adding of the South Eastern NSW and Nepean Blue Mountains PHNs.
“This investment will allow eligible communities in the Parkes electorate affected by the dry times to apply for funds for local initiatives that improve mental health, wellbeing and community resilience. Priority will be given to funding innovative suicide prevention initiatives,” Minister Hunt said.
• Early intervention and low intensity mental health services
• Suicide prevention services
• Community wellbeing activities
• Workforce capability development projects.
The Coalition Government has made mental health a national priority, and it is expected to spend $4.7 billion on mental health this year.
Media Contact: Anna Tickle 0400 050 729