Today we were excited that Hon David Coleman, Federal Member for Banks, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and Melissa McIntosh, Federal Member for Lindsay, officially opened the Penrith Head to Health Centre
The centre opened its doors to the community on 1 December and is located at 111 Henry Street. It provides walk-in support without the need of a prior appointment to individuals experiencing distress or crisis, or those wanting to find other mental health support for themselves or someone they care about 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including public holidays). The Centre's operating hours are 1:00pm - 9:30pm every day, except Tuesdays which is 1:00pm - 5:00pm.
The Federal Government invested $14 million into the centre as part of its 2019-20 ‘Prioritising Mental Health’ budget measure. We commissioned Neami National to operate the Centre, which is one of eight being trialled across the country. Together with Neami National, we conducted an extensive design and consultation process with the community and health sector to understand and design a service that best met our local needs, without duplicating existing services.
At the heart of the Centre's design is the intention to create a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for individuals experiencing emotional or psychological distress and the loved ones and carers who support them. Now that the Centre is open, it is exciting to see the visions from those involved come to fruition.
The service couldn't have come at a better time, as we see the pressures of the ongoing pandemic and compounding trauma, such as drought, floods and bushfires take its toll on many of our residents. It is a game changer for integrating the mental health space in our region and the way we support those experiencing mental health concerns or crises by not only providing direct support but connecting people to other mental health services across the region.
It is exciting to see this Centre open on time after a huge effort from all involved, particularly considering the challenges by the pandemic.
I encourage you to visit the Centre to find out for yourself how it can help people in our community. The Centre can also be contacted through the Head to Health phone number by calling 1800 595 212 from Monday - Friday 8:30am-5:00pm.
Visit our website to find out more and to share this information with your networks, including via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.