Mayor of Brimbank City Council, Cr Ranka Rasic, has today welcomed the State Government’s announcement that Brimbank will become the home of a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, as part of the State’s response to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
Establishing new local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing Services is a key recommendation of the Royal Commission, which seek to provide more help for the Victorian community earlier, closer to home, and before they need access to a hospital or when they reach a crisis point.
Brimbank has been identified and recommended by experts, as one of six key priority rollout locations for a new service, alongside Benalla, Frankston, Greater Geelong, Latrobe Valley and Whittlesea.
Brimbank experiences some of the highest levels of very high psychological distress (a measure of anxiety and depression) recorded across Victoria. Brimbank also experiences significant socio-economic challenges around employment, learning, health and wellbeing outcomes, which continue to be compounded by the ongoing and evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
Council understands the new services will work to a ‘how can we help?’ model, which will seek to assist people efficiently access the right support for them, which is close to home.
Council understands the Department of Health (DHS) will commence investigating options to establish services within each priority region, which will involve a consultation process with local established service providers, with the all six services earmarked to be opened by the end of 2022.
A dedicated Mental Health and Wellbeing Service for Brimbank, complements and aligns with Brimbank’s 19 Point Action Plan for COVID Response and Recovery, which has called for a dedicated Community Resilience and Fairness Response, including funding for increased local mental health services, resources and initiatives for the Brimbank community in response to the ongoing and evolving impacts of the Pandemic.
This announcement follows on from Council’s other recent advocacy outcomes around a local Community Resilience and Fairness Response, which have included Brimbank also being identified as a priority location for a new ‘Orange Door’ Family Violence Service for the west, Brimbank identified as a priority location for the State Government’s Big Social Housing Build Program, and funding for various local COVID-19 initiatives, including for our multicultural community.
The announcement also complements Council’s own investment into a new St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub, which will provide numerous services to support local socio-economic outcomes once open from 2022, and which will play a pivotal role in COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Council will be writing to the State Government to seek further information in relation to this announcement, and offering Council’s ongoing support and engagement to help identify, facilitate and support the rollout of a local Mental Health and Wellbeing Service to support our community and western region.
Quotes to be attributed to Brimbank Mayor Cr Ranka Rasic:
“Council welcomes this State Government announcement, which will help support Brimbank and the western region, with increased support, resources and assistance to help improve mental health outcomes.
“The need to improve access to mental health support is something I am extremely passionate about and I am very pleased that this initiative will provide useful services for our community.
“Whilst the future for residents across Brimbank is bright, as outlined in Council’s Transforming Brimbank Visioning work, it is also vital we continue to advocate and deliver services that help lift our local mental health and wellbeing outcomes, and improve community resilience.
“Whilst Brimbank is a proud and hardworking community- we also experience significant mental health, wellbeing and socio-economic challenges, which as a result of COVID, have been compounded and mean we will need even more investment will be required to respond to these local challenges.”