The Australian Government has today announced the approval of new locations for Head to Health mental health services in regional NSW. A joint initiative of the Australian and NSW Governments, new Head to Health Centre locations will include a service in Bathurst and a dedicated walk-in centre in Dubbo.
Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) CEO, Mr Andrew Coe, is thrilled to be able to confirm the funding for two sites to be established in our region. “Our population has faced many challenges in recent times, these new services are a welcome addition to the suite of services currently provided to support individuals in need.”
Western NSW residents face unique challenges in terms of health equity and access when compared with those living in Greater Sydney. Individuals in regional areas experience similar mental health issues to those in metropolitan areas, but often have worse outcomes. Contributing factors include access to appropriate services, shortages of skilled workers, the tyranny of distance and the cost of accessing services. The new Head to Health services in Bathurst and Dubbo will contribute to addressing some of the above factors and ultimately to improving health outcomes of Western NSW residents.
Our new Head to Health centres will provide a free service that responds to people in crisis or distress by providing a culturally safe and central point to connect people to services utilising a “no wrong door” policy that will positively impact health outcomes across the region. The Dubbo centre will be a stand-alone, multi-disciplinary mental health service, whilst the Bathurst service will operate from an existing primary care setting.
Mr Coe concluded, “On behalf of WNSW PHN, I thank the Minister for this investment and we look forward to establishing this important service to help support the people of Western NSW in the coming months.”