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Head to Help expands

Head to Help expands

More Head to Help mental health sites in Gippsland

The new HeadtoHelp mental health service is expanding to East Gippsland, the Latrobe Valley and the South Coast to ensure communities across the region have access to vital support.

New satellite sites began operating last week in Traralgon, Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale and Leongatha.

The Latrobe site is at Flourish Medical Centre in Traralgon, the Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale sites are at Gippsland Lakes Complete Health, and the South Coast site is at Leongatha Healthcare.

Two HeadtoHelp Hubs are already located in Sale and Warragul.

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When HeadtoHelp was announced by the Australian Government in response to the COVID19 pandemic in Victoria, Gippsland PHN successfully advocated for a ‘Hub and Satellite’ model of to ensure this mental health support reached beyond the two mental hub sites. It has now awarded a tender to the Victorian Centre for Mental Health to operate the satellite centres in collaboration with the general practices at each location.

Gippsland PHN Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch, said many people in Gippsland are experiencing mental health issues for the first time.

“A new at-risk group has developed as a result of the COVID19 pandemic and they need help finding the right support in a mental health system that is hard to navigate,” Ms Proposch said.

“That is why this initiative is so important. Early intervention is a key element to mental health and it’s even more important during COVID19. If people don’t get that help sooner rather than later issues will be compounded.”

Staff in the hubs and satellite centres, including mental health workers, psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, alcohol and drug workers and peer support workers, work closely with existing providers including GPs and hospitals, referring people to more intensive mental health care or social supports if needed.

Anyone in Gippsland who may be struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 on their lives and needs to find the right mental health support can ring 1800 595 212 or go to the HeadtoHelp website at www.headtohelp.org.au

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