Since early 2015 the Clarence Valley community has experienced higher than state average rates of suicide.
Today Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced a funding package of more than $500,000 for suicide prevention both in the Clarence and across the North Coast.
“The Health Minister’s headspace announcement is a welcome addition to the mental health services available in the Clarence Valley,” NCPHN’s Chief Executive Dr Vahid Saberi said.
“As the agency responsible for establishing and contracting headspaces on the North Coast NCPHN will take swift action so that the Grafton headspace is established and operating quickly.”
Dr Saberi said that Expressions of Interest would be invited from local organisations to set up and manage the new youth mental health service.
“We need to ensure the best organisation is selected to lead the establishment and management of headspace Grafton.”
The $500,000 funding package, which is being managed by NCPHN will be used to contract a range of new and expanded mental health support initiatives.
NCPHN has been leading work with the Clarence Valley community through the Our Healthy Clarence Steering Committee to develop and put in place a plan to address the issue of suicide. The Steering Committee includes representation from the community and local services.
The Our Healthy Clarence Plan 2016-18 is now complete and the new funding package will significantly advance its goals. (See attached brochure outlining the Our Healthy Clarence Mental Health & Wellbeing Plan).
NCPHN is following a similar process to develop suicide prevention plans in Lismore, the Tweed Valley and Byron, which all experience significantly higher suicide rates than the state average.
HOW $500,000 OF FUNDING WILL BE USED
- $154,517 for suicide prevention measures specifically in the Clarence Valley.
NCPHN is contracting CRANES Community Support Programs, a not for profit community organisation to provide Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) to community members and other stakeholders.
- $333,384 for Aboriginal mental health and suicide prevention
NCPHN is contracting CRANES to provide Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid, Aboriginal Youth Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health First Aid for the Suicidal Person to Aboriginal community members and workers, ASIST training for frontline staff, and advanced skills training for GPs and other health professionals working with Aboriginal people. While this training will be conducted across the entire NCPHN footprint, the focus will be within the Clarence Valley.
- $90,000 for post-suicide support for Clarence Valley families and communities
This funding will be utilised to support initiatives stemming from the Our Healthy Clarence Plan including development of resource packs for people who attempt suicide, their families and friends, and communication protocols for service providers after suicide.
- $62,000 for Improved access to psychiatry
This funding will assist with bringing a twice-monthly child psychiatry service to Grafton via both face-to-face and telehealth, and an existing adult Psychiatry service will be increased from two days per month to two days per fortnight.
NCPHN is also working with Our Healthy Clarence to attract additional Allied Mental Health Professionals (e.g. psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists) to the Clarence Valley by supporting those in Coffs Harbour and Lismore to travel to the region. NCPHN would like to hear from psychologists and other mental health professionals who might be interested in travelling to the Clarence Valley. These mental health professionals can get in contact by visiting the NCPHN website, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To add these contacts to your report, go to http://himh.clients.squiz.net/mindframe/for-courts/adding-helplines-to-stories
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT WENDY PANNACH, NCPHN’S MANAGER, MENTAL HEALTH REFORM ON 0400 325 665 OR MONIKA WHEELER, NCPHN’S A/DIRECTOR, QUALITY & INNOVATION ON 0437 667 759.