Boost for mental health care

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

Amity Health is now delivering primary mental healthcare services in the Great Southern region, representing a major shift in the treatment of mental illness in WA.

Federal funding of $8.5 million has enabled the WA Primary Health Alliance to commission the Mental Health Portal service for its Country WA Primary Health Network including the Great Southern region.

Amity Health chief executive Robin Surridge said the appointment enabled the organisation to continue providing services in the Great Southern, where it has operated for more than 20 years.

“We are very pleased to be able to support more people in the Great Southern through the provision of additional mental health services in the region,” Ms Surridge said.

“By providing some early inter-vention and a greater range of mental health care options, we can make a real difference.”

The new services are part of a Statewide rollout of a new model of stepped care for mental health treatment that will enable GPs to access early intervention for some of the most vulnerable of the 20 per cent of Australians who experience mental health issues.

The Great Southern Mental Health Portal will benefit people who are financially disadvantaged or those living in places where there are no other services to access early intervention mental health care services.

Services may include brief therapy by phone or in person, online therapy options, group support, connection to community services or care management for patients with more complex social needs.

O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said the new program would be of big benefit.

“The range of available treatment options, ease of access and simplicity of this new program will go a long way towards improving the mental health of people in regional areas,” Mr Wilson said.

Visit www.wapha.org.au/mental-health-portal for more information.

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