St John of God Health Care to run new Head to Health centres

WA Primary Health Alliance has selected St John of God Social Outreach as the lead agency to establish and operate the new Head to Health adult mental health centres in Armadale, Gosnells and Balga/Mirrabooka.

St John of God Health Care was awarded the contracts following a competitive open tender procurement process.

Expected to open in the second half of 2023, the new Head to Health services will offer free advice, support and, if needed, assessment and treatment for people with stress, anxiety and other mental health issues.

These new sites are part of a wider range of Head to Health services available to the community including the Head to Health Assessment and Referral Phone Service 1800 595 212.

The national expansion of Head to Health mental health services means more communities will benefit from this essential mental health initiative.

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care has committed to an additional centre for regional Western Australia in the future. More details will be announced later this year.

WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington, said Head to Health centres offer a friendly, low-key environment for people who need support, helping reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues which can make some people reluctant to seek help.

“St John of God Health Care is a highly experienced mental health service provider. Their experience establishing and running the Midland Head to Health centre over the past 18 months will benefit those living in and around Armadale, Gosnells and Balga/Mirrabooka as sites are established within their own communities.

“We are confident St John of God Social Outreach, as the operator of the new Head to Health services, will again work with local health professionals, service providers, and people with lived experience over the coming months to inform the design of the new services to ensure they meet the needs of the local communities and are well integrated into existing health and social service networks,” she said.

St John of God Social Outreach CEO, Susan Cantwell, said they are delighted to take on the role of operator of a further three Head to Health adult mental health centres in Perth, in addition to the existing site at Midland.

“By creating a single point of entry that connects people to the most appropriate support services without requiring a referral or appointment, these centres will remove some of the most significant barriers to accessing appropriate and timely mental health care in the community,” she said.

Federal Member for Burt, Matt Keogh, said mental health and suicide prevention are top priorities for the Albanese Government.

“We are determined that people living in Armadale, Gosnells, and indeed across Perth’s south eastern suburbs have access to quality care, close to home,” he said.

Federal Member for Cowan, Anne Aly, said having readily available access to mental health services like Head to Health will be an important support for our community.

“We know early intervention is key to improving mental health recovery, that’s why WA Primary Health Alliance’s expansion of the Head to Health program is a welcome addition to the health services available in our local community,” she said.

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