The push for increased mental health services for Mount Gambier is progressing with a petition of 2600 signatures presented last week to Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin.
Petition organiser Ben Hood presented the signatures to Mr Pasin ahead of Parliament returning to Canberra this week.
“I have been really pleased with the support shown by the Limestone Coast community,” Mr Hood said.
“Mental health has impacted everyone in one way or another and as the second largest city in South Australia it stands to reason that Mount Gambier should see increased mental health support.”
Mr Hood said as part of a major mental health reform, the Federal Coalition Government was creating a national network of multidisciplinary mental health treatment centres for adults, youth and children to contribute to addressing the “missing middle” service gap.
“The Federal Government has announced this national initiative is rolling out with locations across the country yet to be decided.
“I’d love to see Mount Gambier on that Head to Health map,” Mr Hood said.
The petition was set up after a mental health stakeholder roundtable was held with Mr Pasin in November.
The petition requests the Federal Government ensure that Mount Gambier, is chosen as one of the locations for an adult Head to Health satellite centre to compliment Headspace and other existing services in the Limestone Coast region.
Mr Pasin said Head to Health Centres were designed to provide a welcoming, low stigma, ‘no wrong door’ entry point for adults to access mental health information, services and supports, much like Headspace does for youth.
“The centres are intended to complement, not replace or duplicate, mental health services already provided in the community,” Mr Pasin said.
“We have some fantastic mental health services in the Limestone Coast and the introduction of a Head to Health centre or satellite centre here in Mount Gambier would complement and assist these services to help connect people with the support they need.
“It’s a missing link that could really help the mental wellbeing of our community.”
With community support strongly demonstrated via the petition Mr Pasin said he would advocate strongly for the cause amongst colleagues in Canberra.