New adult mental health centre for Midland

A new adult mental health centre in Midland, offering free, on-the-spot advice and support and, if needed, assessment and treatment for people with stress, anxiety and other mental health issues, is expected to open in late 2021.

This initiative is part of an Australian Government funded trial of eight centres nationally in each state and territory. It is in response to an identified need for support for people experiencing distress and whose condition may be too complex for many existing primary care services.

The centre will operate with a drop in and referral model, offering a friendly, low key environment for people who need support, helping reduce the stigma associated with mental health and alcohol and other drug issues.

WA Primary Health Alliance, the operator of Perth North Primary Health Network, has confirmed St John of God Health Care will lead the co-design of the centre.

This decision took account of their significant clinical experience in acute mental health services and established presence in the Midland area. This includes operating the mental health emergency and inpatient services at St John of God Midland Public Hospital and community-based mental health services.

St John of God Social Outreach CEO, Susan Cantwell, said the organisation will be seeking to work in close collaboration with other service providers supporting the Midland community on the design of the adult mental health centre to ensure it meets the full spectrum of community need.

“By creating a single point of entry that connects people to the most appropriate support services without requiring a referral or appointment, this centre will remove some of the most significant barriers to accessing appropriate, quality mental health care.”

WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington, said this is great news for the people of Midland and surrounding communities.

“People will benefit from a service that reflects local needs, is easy to access and will connect individuals with the most appropriate local support, which may be an existing service, or a short-to-medium term service offered at the centre.”

The service design will be finalised in consultation with mental health providers, clinicians, consumers, general practice, and other stakeholders to ensure it reflects local needs and delivers the best outcomes for the broader Midland community.

Federal Member for Hasluck, Hon Ken Wyatt AM, said he was delighted that an adult mental health centre is to open in Midland, as part of the Australian Government’s $114 million investment in a national trial.

“I am hopeful that as well as addressing a gap in services for adults, it will also remove barriers to help for people who might not know where else to turn.”

Both the facility and the service will be designed to feel welcoming and safe to all who present, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from diverse cultural backgrounds and LGBTIQ+ people.

This activity has been made possible through funding provided by the Australian Government under the PHN Program.