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More than $14 million in new mental health support announced for Ipswich

May 06, 2022

The West Moreton region will receive a welcome boost to mental health services with Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services, today (6 May 2022) announcing more than $14 million for a local Head to Health service in Ipswich.

The Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network (PHN) will receive the funding over four years from May 2022, Senator Ruston said.

“Establishment of the Ipswich Head to Health centre will begin this month with an intake and referral commencing in the new financial year and full service delivery expected to commence in early 2023,” Senator Ruston said.

“The site-specific operational model for the satellite will be determined through the co-design process undertaken by the PHN as part of the establishment phase.”

Senator Ruston made the announcement while visiting local primary healthcare provider, Colleges Crossing Family Practice. Practice owner, Dr Tony Bayliss, is also Chair of the Darling Downs West Moreton PHN who will be tasked with implementing the new service.

Dr Bayliss said West Moreton was the fastest growing health district in Queensland with more than 30,000 people joining our community each year

“But unfortunately, the region is also impacted by very high rates of psychological distress - 1 in 7 adults (over 29,000 people) - higher than the Queensland and national averages,” he said.

“Primary care is the first point of call for many of these people - around 1 in 6 (or 50,000) people attended their local GP about their mental health concern, including to develop a mental health care plan.”

PHN Chief Executive Officer, Ms Lucille Chalmers, said the funding was important to address some of the significant mental health care challenges in the region.

“The PHN has been advocating for additional support to meet the strong growth needs of the West Moreton region.

“This facility will provide a much needed level of support to enable us to care for people in the community and keep them out of hospital as much as possible.

Ms Chalmers said the PHN was very focused on person-centred care.

“We look forward to working with the community and our partners in the health system to design a Head to Health that works well for the people of Ipswich and West Moreton."

Pictured; PHN CEO Lucille Chalmers, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, PHN Board Chair Dr Tony Bayliss and Dr Cathryn Hester.