Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing
This week is Mental Health Week, and while Tasmanians have demonstrated incredible resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an important and timely reminder for people to take the time to look after their wellbeing and check on family, friends and neighbours.
It is understandable, and could be quite common, for some people to be worried, concerned or uncertain as we move through the pandemic and consider what living with COVID might look like.
We should all consider how we can make our own mental wellbeing a priority, to build stronger connections with each other and within our community – not just during awareness weeks, but every day.
Maintaining a daily routine, engaging in activities and hobbies we enjoy, and exercising in a safe way is important to keep mentally healthy.
The Tasmanian Government is investing in early intervention and preventative initiatives, including nearly $8 million in this year’s Budget to continue and expand innovative services established during the pandemic. This includes A Tasmanian Lifeline and the Mental Health Council of Tasmania’s Check In website.
A Tasmanian Lifeline (1800 98 44 34) is a call in/reach out service for any Tasmanian who may feel stressed, anxious about the future, struggling with the impacts of restrictions, or simply needing a friendly and understanding voice to talk things over with. The hotline is staffed from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.
The Mental Health Council’s website (www.mhct.org) has information on how we can each take steps in our day to day lives to look after our mental wellbeing. The Council, strongly supported by our Government, has a range of activities planned for the rest of Mental Health Week, and I encourage Tasmanians to get out and about and enjoy what’s on offer.
As well as celebrating Mental Health Week, the Government is continuing to implement our extensive Mental Health Reform Program, with $8.8 million allocated in the 2021 Budget to support our reforms.
This will allow the full operation of the Acute Care Team, which is a new community-based mental health service in the South, and the progression of the new Peacock Centre facility and associated services.
The two-year trial of an Emergency Mental Health Co-Response Service is also progressing, and will be operational by the end of the year, which will mean Tasmanians can get faster access to mental health services when they need them, while reducing pressure on our emergency departments.
These are just some of the new services we are rolling out to support our plan for a best-practice, contemporary, integrated mental health system for all Tasmanians.