Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) has welcomed the federal government’s agreement to reallocate existing funds to support the ‘Geelong Place-Based Suicide Prevention Initiative’. A total of $531,022 will be redirected to the initiative over the next two years.
WVPHN Chief Executive Officer Rowena Clift said: “Western Victoria PHN, as part of the local Geelong community, has been greatly saddened by recent events and we are keen to ensure a coordinated approach to addressing suicide.”
“We will be working to coordinate the place-based suicide prevention initiative with relevant stakeholders to build a more connected and integrated mental health system in the Geelong region. In addition all mental health services and providers who have partnered with us from previously planned activities will be invited to participate in the initiative as key stakeholders. We will also be engaging with a diverse range of individuals to participate including people with a lived experience, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, members of the LGBTQI communities, teachers, families and carers.”
“Yesterday we met with Christine Morgan, CEO of the National Mental Health Commission and also held an online information and education session on youth mental health with 78 general practitioners, mental health care practitioners and hospital clinicians from across Geelong. This was the first of three sessions we have planned for the coming weeks.”
“We are also very pleased with the appointment of Annette Mercuri to chair this initiative. Annette is a highly experienced professional in health and mental health services and has over 25 years’ experience in project management and service reform, including the development of the forensic mental health service plan for Victoria.”
WVPHN this week met with the Education Department, Department of Health and Human Services, local mental health service providers, including headspace and the City of Greater Geelong to work on a coordinated approach to support young people’s mental health in the region. A number of initiatives were discussed including WVPHN potentially coordinating local efforts and further engaging with the primary health care sector in suicide prevention, especially for youth.
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