One of Australia’s largest community health services, cohealth, in partnership with Clarity Health Care and the University of Melbourne has established a new mental health service in Brimbank, and is encouraging the community to reach out.
Jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments and stemming from the reforms recommended by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, the Brimbank local helps people in Brimbank get immediate and free mental health and wellbeing support locally.
No Medicare card or referral is required to access the services, and no-one will be turned away, in keeping with the ‘no wrong door’ philosophy.
“Through this service, people in Brimbank will be able to access mental health treatment and support close to home, their jobs and their families so that they get the care they need before their problems get worse,” said Acting Chief Executive of cohealth, Christopher Turner.
“The service aims to reach the ‘missing middle’ – people who need more support than they can get from their GP, but whose needs are not complex enough to be eligible for hospital care,” he said.
The Brimbank local will have a strong focus on ‘peer support’ and lived experience contributions in both service design and delivery.
Client calls will first be answered by a Lived Experience Worker (someone who has experienced mental ill-health themselves), who will start the conversation with ‘How can I help’ before providing information, advice and referrals tailored to that person’s situation.
Rounding out the Brimbank local team will be multidisciplinary teams of mental health workers who can undertake needs assessments and provide treatments.
cohealth’s David Pedlar will be using his experience of mental health issues and recovery in his new role at the Brimbank Local.
Mr Pedlar says that the mental health system has historically been oriented towards waiting until someone was in crisis and needing hospitalisation, but the new community-based mental health local services allow people to access care earlier, more easily, and facilitates client choice and control by tailoring supports to the individual.
Mr Pedlar says that having a peer worker was a gamechanger in his own recovery.
“Having a peer worker was the most significant factor in my own recovery because I felt there was someone walking alongside me who was empathic, understanding and genuinely interested in my wellbeing,” said Mr Pedlar, Peer Excellence Coach
Mr Pedlar’s main message to people struggling with mental health is that recovery is possible.
“I want people to know there is hope. With the right clinical, community and peer supports, you can achieve a full and complete recovery,” he said.
more information: Lanie Harris 0418 552 377 firstname.lastname@example.org
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More on Brimbank Local: The Brimbank Local is a collaboration between cohealth, Clarity Health Care and the University of Melbourne.
People from the Brimbank community can access the new Brimbank Local on 03 9448 5522 from 8am to 6pm.