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Apr 15 2024

Supporting Our Community Through Traumatic Times

The events of this past weekend have affected us in an unprecedented way. We are conscious of the impact of what occurred in Bondi Junction, not only on those directly affected, but also on our community as a whole in NSW, as we grapple to understand the gravity of this event. We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the victims, and our thoughts are with those impacted firsthand on the scene as they come to terms with the impact of the situation.

Whilst this event did not occur in our immediate community, the impacts are far-reaching and can have long-term repercussions. Traumatic events elicit a response from us all, which can take time to realise and may be amplified by previous experiences or mental health concerns.

We have a range of supports in place to help our community navigate whatever may arise, whether you need support yourself or for a friend or family member. It’s important to remember that you can experience negative mental health impacts without meeting the criteria for a diagnosed mental illness or disorder. If you have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, stress or anxiety, or just don’t feel like taking part in the activities you normally enjoy, then you may benefit from some extra support.

If you are unsure about what support you may need, a good starting point would be to talk to your GP about how you are feeling. GPs can refer patients to local services and look at other health factors that may impact their overall wellbeing.

Another option is to call our free Head to Health phoneline. When you call, you will be asked to enter your postcode and anyone living in our region will be transferred to a local mental health professional. These clinicians know our local region and will take the time to listen to your concerns and connect you with the most appropriate local service in your area. The Head to Health phoneline is available on 1800 595 212, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm, excluding public holidays.

We also fund the Penrith Head to Health centre and the Hawkesbury Head to Health satellite that provide free mental health support in a safe and welcoming environment for people experiencing distress or crisis. Support is also available to those wanting to find other mental health support for themselves, or someone they care about.

  • Penrith Head to Health is located at 111 Henry Street, Penrith. This service is open for walk-ins (without the need for a prior appointment) 7 days per week, 365 days a year, including public holidays. The centre's opening hours are 1:00pm to 9:30pm (Monday, Wednesday to Sunday) and from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Tuesdays.
  • Hawkesbury Head to Health is located at 1-2 Musson Lane, Richmond, and is open Monday to Saturday, with walk-in support available from 1 pm (without the need for a prior appointment). The service is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, with walk-in support available from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, and Thursday and Saturday from 11:00am to 7:00pm, with walk-in support available from 1:00pm to 7:00pm.

We have established headspace centres in Katoomba, Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Penrith to provide free early intervention support to young people aged 12-25 years across mental health, physical health, work and study, and alcohol and other drug needs. Young people can walk in at any of these locations during their opening hours. No appointment or referral is needed.

  • headspace Katoomba is located at 37 Waratah Street, Katoomba and is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • headspace Hawkesbury is located at 120 Francis Street, Richmond and is open 9:00am to 5:00pm weekdays, except public holidays. Outreach is provided every Thursday at North Richmond Community Centre from 10:00am to 5:00pm and every Friday at Old Hawkesbury Hospital, 6 Christie Street, Windsor, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, except public holidays.
  • headspace Lithgow is located at 23 Main Street, Lithgow and is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am, closing at 5:00pm on Monday and Wednesday, 6:00pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 12:00pm on Friday.
  • headpace Penrith is located at 606 High Street, Penrith and is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

As a funder of mental health services, we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our community. We want to ensure that mental health support in our region is accessible and protected so that our community can receive the highest quality care, when and where they need it.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If your life or the life of someone you know is in danger, call emergency services on 000. For those seeking urgent mental health care, they can call the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511, which is available 24/7 including public holidays.

We would like to acknowledge those with a lived experience of mental illness, psychological distress and suicidality, their carers and loved ones.

We recognise the contribution and the power of people with a lived experience in informing, influencing and enhancing mental health and suicide prevention efforts.

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Photo of Lizz Reay

Lizz Reay is the CEO of Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network. Previously Deputy CEO of Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local & Nepean Division of General Practice, she has an extensive background in public health.

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