From today, a new Head to Health pop up clinic will open its doors providing additional mental health support for Canberra residents who have been substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Morrison Government invested more than $1 million to rapidly establish a Head to Health pop-up clinic as the ACT navigates the COVID-19 outbreak.
Canberra residents seeking help can call a dedicated number (1800 595 212) to talk to a mental health professional and be directed to the most appropriate care for their individual needs. Telehealth services will also be available.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said residents will also be able to access face-to-face services from November 1, 2021.
“Mental health is a key part of Australia’s pandemic response and the current restrictions across the country have been taking a toll on the mental health and wellbeing of Australians, including those in the ACT,” Minister Hunt said.
“This clinic will play an essential role in supporting ACT GPs, private and public hospitals and emergency departments, by providing accessible mental health care.”
When fully operational, the clinic will have a team of mental health support workers, including psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, care coordinators, peer support workers and other allied health professionals with experience in mental health.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said similar pop-up clinics in Victoria and New South Wales were supporting thousands of Australians.
“This clinic is using the same model of care as the 15 HeadtoHelp clinics we established in Victoria during their extended lockdown in 2020, and the 10 which opened in NSW on 6 September 2021,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“Established in record time, these clinics are readily accessible and free, and they are making a real difference for people affected by the pandemic.”
Video and phone supported mental health and assessment services will be available, as well as COVID-safe face-to-face support where recommended by a clinician.
Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, said “These are extraordinary times and the Morrison Government recognised very quickly that the mental health burden of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country and here in the ACT was of great concern.”
“As the ACT starts to open back up again, many Canberrans are facing mental health pressures and these services will ensure they can access mental health support when they need it.”
The clinic will form a strong alliance with existing or planned ACT Government mental health services, allowing a coordinated territory-wide approach to intake, assessment and referral processes for mental health services to be adopted.
The Morrison Government continues to make mental health a national priority, investing a record $2.3 billion in the 2021-22 Budget for the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform of the mental health system. This includes a record $6.5 billion in mental health and suicide prevention services and supports in 2021-22, doubling since 2012-13.
The ACT ‘Head to Health Pop Up’ clinic will operate until 30 June 2022.
In addition, Australians looking for support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can access the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service any time via telephone at 1800 512 348 or online at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.
Anyone experiencing distress can also seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.
If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.