Proving that mental health matters

Article image - Proving that mental  health matters Murrindindi Shire Council staff get behind the ‘Mental Health Matters’ campaign.

Via its ‘Mental Health Matters’ campaign, Murrindindi Shire Council, Victoria, has successfully worked with the Victorian Government to enable easier access to mental health services for its community.

Council was motivated to improve ease of access to these services ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Bushfires, which happened in February this year.

Late last year, Council wrote an open letter calling on politicians and candidates to make an urgent commitment to provide more resources to mental health services for residents and to enable individuals to access services nearby.  

Administrative boundaries required the community to access those services in distant towns some hours away – a factor complicated by the lack of local access to public transportation.

The Council said it was “pleased when the Victorian Government advised in February that those administrative boundaries had been relaxed for a six-month period, but we were thrilled when Danielle Green, Member for Yan Yean advised us in August that this arrangement had been extended until April 2021.”

Mental Health Matters has also included a media and social media campaign, a workshop with the community, and youth services and health networks and providers have been encouraged to explore new approaches to support the resilience and mental health of young people.  

Council has also trained 40 staff as accredited Mental Health First Aiders and is working with local Primary Care Partnership to develop and promote a stepped-care model of service to improve local understanding of and access to existing services.