Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub: Adjournment Matter

Scroll down for the Minister’s response, or click here to read this adjournment matter on the Parliament of Victoria website.

My adjournment matter is for the Acting Premier and Minister for Mental Health, and the action that I seek is for the Acting Premier or his representative to officially open the Ballarat Community Health mental health and wellbeing hub in my electorate of Wendouree.

I thank the Acting Premier and the Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health for their commitment to improving mental health services across Victoria and for the work that is being done to support those who need it.

Last year the Andrews Labor government delivered a record $869 million funding boost to the mental health system as part of the Victorian budget. Around one in five Victorians will experience a mental health problem this year. Suicide is consistently the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 44.

For these reasons and many others, our government is implementing every recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and is rebuilding the mental health system that will support all of us now and into the future.

The Wendouree new mental health and wellbeing hub will be located at 10 Learmonth Road in the redeveloped Cooinda centre. This state-of-the-art facility was part funded with a $3 million grant from the Andrews Labor government. Our investment into the mental health and wellbeing hub is all about treating and supporting people in the community.

Services provided by Ballarat Community Health at this site will include children’s assessments, counselling, treatment services and family violence support. Group programs will be available from the site, including creative arts, cooking, mental health drop-in and exercise classes. The needle and syringe program will also be operating in a confidential space, including a vending machine and full service. It is pleasing to hear that lived experience team members will also be available at the hub to provide valuable expertise and insights whilst promoting recovery and hope for clients.

I am incredibly proud of the Andrews Labor government’s investment in mental health and the way we are destigmatising mental illness and transforming lives by improving services across Ballarat and Victoria. I look forward to welcoming the Acting Premier or his representative to officially open the Ballarat Community Health Wendouree mental health and wellbeing hub in the near future.

 

Response from the Hon James Merlino MP, Minister for Mental Health (7th June 2021) – 

I thank the Member for Wendouree for her question and acknowledge her enthusiasm and contribution to date in the rebuild of Victoria’s mental health system.

The final report of the Royal Commission will serve as our blueprint for delivering one of the biggest social reforms in a generation. We know the experience of poor mental health and wellbeing is different in rural and regional areas and that the future mental health system must address long-standing disparities in service access and mental health outcomes between metropolitan and regional communities.

The Andrews Labor Government provided $3.31 million as part of the 2016-17 Regional Health Infrastructure Fund for a major upgrade to the Ballarat Community Health facility at Wendouree.  This is a significant project aimed at increasing service capacity and addressing access issues.

I am pleased to see that Ballarat Community Health is committed to working towards achieving the best mental health and wellbeing outcomes and continues to improve as we move into the new phase of rebuilding our mental health system. It has been a long journey for many to see this redevelopment through to the final stage.

On that note, I am delighted to accept your invitation to officially open the Ballarat Community Health Wendouree mental health and wellbeing hub. This mental health and wellbeing hub will be a significant and welcomed resource for the community of Wendouree.

The Royal Commission’s recommendations set out a 10-year vision for a re-balanced system where mental health and wellbeing treatment, care and support are provided in the community, hospital and other residential settings. It seeks to rebuild the system from the ground up, with communities, like those in the electorate of Wendouree, at the centre. Redevelopment of this Ballarat Community Heath facility at Wendouree is yet another step in the right direction.

The ambitious agenda set out in the final report will take time, but these reforms will provide better coverage and easier access to services for Victorians, no matter where they live.

 

Click here to discover more about how we’re working for Wendouree.