Additional Local Mental Health Support for Adults Available this Holiday Season

Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) encourages adults in the Geelong area seeking help for their mental health this holiday season to contact the newly established Geelong Head to Health service. Geelong Head to Health is a Commonwealth Government funded initiative featuring a workforce of local professionals that includes skilled people who have a lived experience of mental health issues.

WVPHN Chief Executive Officer Rowena Clift said Geelong Head to Health was now available to adults seeking help, without the need for a GP referral.

Head to Health is designed to provide a warm response to people who are experiencing varying levels of distress, including crisis or who recognise that something is not quite right. It has been designed with the local community to complement other existing mental health services in Geelong.

Ms Clift said Christmas and the New Year period could be a very difficult time for many people, especially as we continued to deal with COVID-19.

“If you or someone you know is struggling, I encourage you to seek support from Geelong Head to Health. This is a valuable, new service that commenced on Monday, December 20 for the people of Geelong,” she said.

“This unique service, being delivered by respected mental health service provider Neami, enables people seeking mental health support to speak with other Geelong people with a lived experience alongside wellbeing and clinical staff,” she said.

Ms Clift said Head to Health could assist adults, including carers and family members, with a range of mental health assessments, treatments and supports.

“Head to Health is available to people needing a little support or information through to those with significant distress. The service is also a connection point to make sure people’s needs are linked to the right level of care for them” she said.

“It has been a difficult year for many people and even if you have never sought mental health support previously, Head to Health can be you first point of call,” Ms Clift said.

Geelong Head to Health is one of eight adult mental health centres being opened across Australia, as part of a $114.5 million funding commitment from the Commonwealth Government.

The model for the adult mental health centres was developed by a national expert advisory group. WVPHN worked with the local community to refine this design to meet needs specific to people living in Geelong.

Neami is currently establishing a newly built, fit-for-purpose site for the centre, to be opened in Geelong’s northern suburbs in 2022.

In the interim, to access the service, phone 1800 595 212 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please phone 000.

After hours, public holiday and weekend support is also available via:

  • Lifeline – phone 13 11 14
  • BeyondBlue – phone 1300 22 4636

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