26 September 2023

New PS workers mental as anything

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More than 180 mental health workers are to be deployed across NSW as part of a $73 million package to boost mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor announced the funding boost to support the mental health and wellbeing of people across the state.

Ms Berejiklian said additional mental health staff and new digital resources would ensure anyone who required support was able to access it.

“We know how challenging the past few months have been,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“During this time it is vital we deliver robust mental health services that fit the evolving needs of the community,” she said.

“This means employing more frontline workers and greater investment in remote technology.”

Ms Berejiklian said the new package provided for over 180 additional specialist, community-based mental health clinicians and peer support workers.

She said it also included an expansion of the virtual mental health program to all local health districts; free access to Tresillian’s digital SleepWellBaby program; capacity for 60,000 extra calls to the 1800 NSW Mental Health Line; and the creation of pop-up mental health Safe Space sites to reduce pressure on emergency departments.

Mrs Taylor said the NSW Mental Health line, a service provided by the Mental Health Branch of the NSW Ministry of Health, was staffed by specialist mental health clinicians who would provide immediate care, expert advice and make referrals to appropriate services.

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