15 October 2020

Tania Maxwell MP, Member for Northern Victoria, has asked the Victorian Government to detail its action to address six key mental health priorities for the Mitchell Shire.

Around 7% of residents at risk of developing poor mental health in Mitchell Shire, compared to 3.9% statewide.  Nearly 15% of people report high or very high psychological distress. In Mitchell Shire, 75% of mental illnesses in residents develop before the age of 25. (Source: Mitchell Shire Healthy Minds Strategy 2019-2024)

Ms Maxwell noted the worrying challenges in Mitchell Shire, like many other parts of Northern Victoria, are exacerbated by a lack of access to appropriate and accessible local mental health services, poor visibility of service options, and limited early intervention and integration. Adding to this are workforce shortages and an absence of a capability framework to guide transitions care.

A Youth Hub is under development in Wallan to provide mental health assessment and care to local youth, which Ms Maxwell said was a welcome project for the community.  Ms Maxwell said that the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with projections that Mitchell Shire could double its population by 2036 provided a strong case for additional services and funding.

Mitchell Shire has advocated to the Government around the following key priorities:

  • A wrap around mental health service for adults and older people;
  • A headspace for young people in Seymour and/or Wallan;
  • Funding and support for the implementation of an Expanded Step Care Model;
  • Funding for a Mental Health System Navigation service;
  • Funding for the Mitchell Youth Health initiative;
  • Funding and support for the Live4Life Program.

Quotes attributable to Tania Maxwell MP:

 “With forecasts that the population of the Mitchell Shire will double by 2036, we need to get services in place to meet current demand and develop for the future.”

“With higher rates of family violence and mental health needs compared to the State average, it is important that residents are able to access services at a local level.”