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Wimmera Health Care Group leader offers support for mental health project

Wimmera Health Care Group cheif executive Catherine Morley.

Wimmera Health Care Group cheif executive Catherine Morley.

By DEAN LAWSON
A Wimmera health-care leader has backed a community push to dramatically improve mental-health services in the region.
Wimmera Health Care Group chief executive Catherine Morley said finding a way to establish response services that met a ‘distressing and growing’ need had become a priority ‘for everyone’.
Ms Morley added that while the push was for a 24-hour crisis centre, plans needed to have structured viability that included broad and strategic intervention and support services.
“All statistics clearly show that mental health is going to be an ongoing battle and we need a sustainable solution,” she said.
“I agree that part of the solution could be a crisis centre, but we also need ongoing services for people generally finding life tough. The truth is that every employer, including us, regularly sees the impact of mental-health issues in the workforce and considering we’re in the heart of a farming region, what happens if we’re hit with another drought? We’re a crisis waiting to happen and have no real solution.”
Ms Morley was responding to an announcement last week that Rotary clubs and advocacy group Health Minds Horsham had launched a campaign to establish a 24-hour mental-health crisis centre in Horsham.
She said the health group had Ballarat-funded mental-health workers based in Horsham but there were simply not enough of them.
“They have been working hard with Primary Care Partnership to improve mental-health outcomes and have been running some really successful programs.
“I agree that there is a significant shortfall but as a region we don’t get any mental-health funding from the acute sector.
“We don’t have a one-stop-shop in regards to mental health, which is what we need.
“We’re keen to work with the community and various partners and service providers to get a sustainable solution.
“We need to be able to identify gaps, establish a central line of action and have the capacity to provide support in a timely manner, not in three months, which unfortunately is what has been happening.
“When someone asks for help we must have a responsive service that meets a variety of needs – be it for the short or long term, dealing with crises, children, the elderly, anyone who has some requirement in the mental-health space.”
The community project brief is for a crisis centre to be available to anyone at any time and to operate as part of, with or alongside, health and service agencies.
Group leaders plan to lobby and raise the concept with politicians and community and business leaders. They also plan to launch a money-raising project with scope and expectations similar to Wimmera Cancer Centre.
Ms Morley said the key to turning the concept into a reality was establishing a clear project message and plan.
“We need to invite the right players, the people who make decisions at political levels, to all be in the room at the same time,” she said.
“This would help in efforts to establish a sustainable solution.
“In our region we work well together and have an ability to come up with answers.
“In this circumstance, as a region, we would be able to find the right solution.
“As a community we’re as important as anyone else and the reality is we deserve the same services that are available in metropolitan areas. Equity is what we really want.”

The entire April 10, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Apr 10 2019

Posted by on Apr 10 2019. Filed under Health & Lifestyle, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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