New Mental Health Pop Up Services to Support People in NSW during Pandemic

Head to Health Pop Up services have launched across NSW to support people whose mental health is being affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions.     

In August, the Federal Government announced a $10.6 million investment to rapidly establish an integrated mental health support line across NSW with 10 Head to Health Pop Up hub locations adding additional support in areas facing extended COVID-19 restrictions. Primary Health Networks (PHNs) in NSW were tasked with establishing these services in just four weeks. 

Head to Health Pop Up is modelled on the Head to Help services the Government established in Victoria in 2020 and is made possible through the combined efforts of the NSW Mental Health Pandemic Response Taskforce.  

Speaking on behalf of NSW PHNs, Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN said, “After a huge effort over the last few weeks we are proud that the Head to Health Pop Up services are now up and running across NSW.”

“This project has been a true collaboration between NSW PHNs, with the help of our Victorian PHN colleagues, and the Department of Health,” she said. 

“Mental health issues don’t discriminate. The extra pressures of isolation, home schooling, loss of income and the uncertainty of the pandemic is taking its toll on many NSW residents. These services will help guide people through the process of finding the right local support for them,” she said. 

Head to Health Pop Up is free for anyone in NSW of any age, including children, young people and older adults, whose mental health is suffering because of the current COVID-19 situation. No referral is needed to use the service. 

To access the service people simply call 1800 595 212 Monday to Friday between 8:30am - 5:00pm from anywhere in NSW. They will be asked to enter their residential postcode and will be transferred to a trained mental health professional, who will talk to them about their concerns and help guide them to the right, local mental health support for their individual needs. 

“The 1800 number will be particularly helpful for people who may not have accessed mental health services before and who may feel overwhelmed by the thought of trying navigate services,” said Ms Kitcher.

“This is not a new crisis service, it’s about providing care and support to a person needing immediate help and linking them to appropriate services locally,” she added.

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