The Hon. Emma McBride MP, Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention officially launched the service on Friday 11 August and welcomed this specialist support for the South Western Sydney community.
Delivered by Neami National and funded by the South Western Sydney PHN, Liverpool Head to Health provides free, walk-in mental health and wellbeing support without the need for an appointment, referral or Medicare card.
Co-designed with the Liverpool community, including people with a lived and living experience of mental health and wellbeing challenges, the new purpose-built centre is open to people of all ages.
The service also provides support for carers and loved ones of people experiencing distress.
Liverpool Head to Health provides:
- immediate help to reduce distress
- help to safely cope with thoughts of suicide
- help to navigate through a crisis
- support to improve mental wellbeing
- help to connect with ongoing support.
Clinical Service Manager at Neami National James Huynh said: “Liverpool Head to Health offers a unique approach to assisting people with their mental health and wellbeing needs.
For many people, hospital and clinical settings can be overwhelming when experiencing emotional distress or a mental health crisis.
The Liverpool Head to Health centre has been designed to provide a calm, welcoming and inclusive space, where guests are supported throughout their time at the centre by a peer support worker, who has their own lived experience of mental health and wellbeing challenges.”
At the launch event, Peer Support Worker Caleb spoke to the impact a service like Liverpool Head to Health can have. “It doesn’t have to be the end of the road when you have a mental illness. With the support of our team here, we can show, that like for me, things can get better. There’s always hope,” he said.
The Liverpool Head to Health centre is staffed by a team of counsellors, social workers, psychologists, nurses and peer support workers, from diverse cultural backgrounds who speak a number of languages.
A Community Engagement Officer also works closely with local communities, including culturally diverse communities, to help raise awareness of the supports available at the new service.
Neami National Executive Director Kim Holmes said: “We’re pleased to work together with the South Western Sydney PHN to deliver Liverpool Head to Health.
The launch of this new service builds on Neami’s experience in delivering Head to Health services in other parts of Australia.
Combining our learnings and expertise from our national services, with our understanding of the local community and their needs, we hope to provide meaningful support through Liverpool Head to Health.”
South Western Sydney PHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Keith McDonald PhD, said South Western Sydney residents experienced higher levels of psychological distress compared to the state average.
“Almost 1,000 individuals accessed the Head to Health pop-up services in our region during the last two years,” he said.
“Head to Health centres provide a highly visible and accessible entry point to services for people experiencing psychological distress, where all feel safe and welcomed.
“We look forward to working with Neami National, which has experience and expertise in establishing and operating Head to Health centres, to improve mental health outcomes for our community.”
Liverpool Head to Health is located at 203 Northumberland Street, Liverpool and is open from 1pm to 9.30pm Monday and Wednesday to Sunday, and 1pm to 5pm on Tuesday, and public holidays.
For more information, visit the Head to Health website.