New mental health support to help South Eastern Victorians cope with emotional or mental health distress due to COVID-19

Sunday, 13 September 2020

South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN), together with all other Primary Health Networks in Victoria, has mobilised rapidly to establish a new mental health pandemic response service that will be available to all people in our region.

The new service, called HeadtoHelp – is part of the Federal Government’s $31.9 million package for Victoria – and will be operational from Monday 14 September. 

The initiative includes a statewide 1800 phone line to provide telehealth support to anyone who feels they are not coping.  It will be supported by 15 mental health hubs located at appropriate existing health services to provide a welcoming, low stigma entry point for people seeking help for their mental health and wellbeing. 

South Eastern Melbourne PHN will host three of these hubs in Frankston, Officer and Berwick.

The service will be available to anyone of any age and who may or may not have a GP mental health treatment plan. 

The service will complement existing and newly funded mental health services under the guidance of the Victorian Mental Health Pandemic Response Taskforce.

Each PHN is taking a staged approach to establishing the service, with the service commencing operations with foundational staffing. Once fully established, the service will offer multidisciplinary teams of mental health workers, including psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, and alcohol and drug workers to provide extra support during the pandemic.  

For more information visit www.headtohelp.org.au or call 1800 595 212 from Monday 14 September.

Read Minister Hunt's media release here.

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