Mental health step up/step down service to come sooner

Geraldton Guardian
WA Health minister Roger Cook, right, announces the Geraldton step up/step down facility will open a year earlier than initially planned. Also pictured are members for the Agricultural Region Darren West MLC, left, and Laurie Graham MLC.
Camera IconWA Health minister Roger Cook, right, announces the Geraldton step up/step down facility will open a year earlier than initially planned. Also pictured are members for the Agricultural Region Darren West MLC, left, and Laurie Graham MLC. Credit: Geoff Vivian The Geraldton Guardian

People with mental health issues in the Mid West will have access to more support sooner as the project for a community step up/step down service has been brought forward.

Mental Health Minister Roger Cook, in Geraldton today, announced $2.4 million has been allocated to help get a 10-bed short-term, residential mental health service open by early 2021, a year earlier than previously planned.

The service will provide support for people with mental health issues, in a residential style setting, closer to their family and friends.

The ‘step up/step down’ service model aims to reduce hospital admissions by giving people experiencing a mental health episode in the community somewhere to stay, and can provide short-stay transition for people being discharged from hospital.

Roger Cook said the service will complement the $73.3 million Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment, which will include a new integrated mental health service inclusive of an acute psychiatric unit and mental health short stay unit.

He said community mental health step up/step down services played an integral role in keeping people out of hospital and in their communities.

“Investing in regional services is essential, because we know people recover better from mental health, alcohol and other drug issues when they can receive care, support and treatment in their own community, close to home, family and friends,” Mr Cook said.

Member for the Agricultural Region Darren West thanked Mr Cook for bringing forward the project, saying the service was much needed in Geraldton.

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For support, call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 for 24/7 free counselling, or visit your general practitioner. In a crisis situation call Lifeline on 131 114 or Rurallink on 1800 552 002.

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