Mental health - Federal election
Although we are only at the beginning of our rapid growth, our communities are already experiencing limited access to crisis and ongoing mental health support services.
The lack of access to local services forces already vulnerable people to seek appointments a long way away. This is difficult for many families, with almost one third of households in Mitchell Shire having access to only one car or no motorized vehicle at all and limited public transport options.
One in 15 people in Mitchell Shire are reporting high or very high psychological distress. This is higher than the state average.
Lack of access to appropriate and accessible services is evident as Mitchell Shire is presenting with increasing rates of youth mental health issues including anxiety and depression, attempted suicide, substance use as well as disengagement and withdrawal from formal education.
We’ve recently received funding from the State Government for a new youth services hub in Wallan. To ensure the hub can operate to its full potential, we now need Federal funding to providing ongoing operational funding for mental health services.
What are we asking for?
We are asking for the Federal Government to ensure their mental health funding is directed to providing appropriate local mental health services.
Services in our community should not be limited to outreach.
Local service providers need to be appropriately funded by the Federal Government so they can physically operate a range of services from prevention and early intervention through to acute episodes. These services need to be funded to support a range of diverse age groups across the life spectrum.
We are asking for the Federal Government to ensure mental health funding is allocated to support appropriate local service provision in rural and regional townships.
We are calling on the Federal Government to ensure timely planning and provision of mental health services in growth areas where the population is increasing.
We are calling on the Federal Government to provide $300,000 per year for the Youth Services Hub (Wallan). This will assist with ensuring appropriate mental health services can effectively operate and provide necessary counselling and support services for young people and their families.
We are asking for $285,000 to coordinate, implement and evaluate a three-year Live4LIfe program.
Live4Life is an evidence based, rural youth mental health model to prevent youth suicide and aims to ensure that young people, teachers, parents and the wider community are better informed about mental ill health.
The program includes:
- Evidence based mental health education across all secondary schools and community
- Implementation of local youth leadership and participation programs
- Coordinated, support and Mentoring by Youth Live4Life Staff
- School, Community and Local government Partnership (collective impact model)
Why do we need funding now?
Ensuring good mental health is essential to the wellbeing of individuals, their families and the wider community.
Good access to appropriate services will see increased liveability and a decrease in alcohol and/or other drug related harm, mental illness and family violence.
Appropriate local mental health services will ensure our community can access services when and where they need them.
Mitchell Shire Council is part of a group of Interface Councils. The group works together to advocate for key service and infrastructure needs in growth areas.
Through Interface Councils, we commissioned a Human Services Gap Analysis which led to the development of a Liveability Policy. The policy identifies core needs in growth areas including the early provision of services and infrastructure in new communities.