Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 15, 2022


Regional Mental Health Services

In reply to the Hon. L.A. CURRAN ().27 September 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Health and Wellbeing has been advised:

The Department for Health and Wellbeing is currently working in partnership with PIRSA, Wellbeing SA, local health networks, Country SA Primary Health Network, emergency services, Department for Human Services, Department for Education, and other key stakeholders to increase preparedness for the mental health and wellbeing impacts of biosecurity risks. This includes improving access to mental health and wellbeing promotion and prevention initiatives, improving access to mental health information, and access to mental health supports for people in regional and rural South Australia.

The government has made a significant commitment to expanding the capacity of the mental health system, with an increase in specialist mental health services in the community and additional inpatient beds in country. In addition, the state and commonwealth bilateral agreement on mental health and suicide prevention focuses on improving access to mental health and suicide prevention services through collaboration and integration between state and commonwealth-funded services. This includes the implementation of new initiatives such as the statewide Head to Health phone line and two Head to Health walk-in mental health centres in country South Australia.

The Department for Health and Wellbeing will continue to work in partnership with the regional local health networks and Country SA Primary Health Network to ensure that state-funded specialist mental health services and commonwealth-funded primary mental health services are accessible for people in regional areas, noting that biosecurity risks can have long-term mental health impacts and therefore requires long-term mental health planning.