Senator Payne announces funding boost to support mental health programs in Western Sydney

Wednesday, 30 January 2019
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, visited Mount Druitt headspace today to announce that the Liberal-National government will ensure funding certainty for the Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WSPHN) and will provide over $7.5 million to the Mount Druitt and Parramatta headspace centres.  
Senator Payne said that the new funding model for Primary Health Networks would enhance the mental health services offered by the WSPHN. 
“PHN’s were setup as an independent regional health organisation to commission health services, including mental health, in response to the needs of local communities throughout Australia, including in Western Sydney,” Senator Payne said. 
“WSPHN is expected to receive over $56 million over a three year period to help tailor services to meet the specific needs in our region and help deliver a stronger, more integrated mental health system.” 
Minster for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, said the change in the funding model will ensure that the staff and mental health professionals who deliver these critical services will no longer face uncertainty on short term contracts. 
“This will allow longer term planning, provide job certainty for thousands of people employed in the sector, and deliver a stronger mental health system,” Minister Hunt said. 
“The new funding process will dramatically improve their ability to ensure that services can be commissioned well in advance at any point in time, and provide greater funding certainty for the community-based mental health sector.” 
Senator Payne also announced that the Liberal-National Government will provide Mount Druitt and Parramatta headspace centres, which are located within the WSPHN, funding to extend the Early Psychosis Youth Services (EPYS) program. 
Mount Druitt headspace will receive over $5.8 million in funding while Parramatta headspace will receive over $1.6 million. 
Senator Payne said the EPYS program aims to reduce the incidence and impact of psychosis through prevention, early detection, and coordinated care delivery. 
“Psychosis is a condition where a person has difficulty in telling apart what is real from what is not,” Senator Payne said. 
“A significant focus of the program is on functional recovery which focuses on a young person’s re-engagement in education and employment, leading to better long term outcomes. 
“Intervention early in life and at an early stage of illness can reduce the duration and impact of mental illness. 
“Providing mental health services for young people is critical, and I am pleased that Mount Druitt and Parramatta headspaces will receive this funding boost.” 
Brendan Peek, Acting CEO of WentWest, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network, said the funding announcement was a positive decision that will enable long-term planning across the numerous mental health programs they commission along with greater job security and retention for those health professionals. 
“This decision will ultimately lead to a more robust and innovative health sector,” Mr Peek said. 
“Western Sydney has an incredibly diverse community and many families deal with complex mental health needs, often for many years. Continuity of funding provides certainty for not only hardworking grassroots health care professionals, but also for every Western Sydney resident for whom access to on-going, integrated mental health services is critical.” 
Keith Hamilton, CEO of Parramatta Mission, the lead agency within the Western Sydney Primary Health Network which helps to administer headspace welcomed the funding boost. 
“This funding announcement is great news, and I welcome the Federal Government’s support of the Mount Druitt and Parramatta centres,” Mr Hamilton said. 
“The Early Psychosis Youth Services program is particularly important, as early intervention is key. 
“The funding will better enable Parramatta Mission and headspace to support young people on their mental health journey.” 



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