Broken Hill mental health centre locked in as rehab facility awaits funding
A new mental health centre for adults will be established in Broken Hill after $14 million was committed to the project.
Parkes MP Mark Coulton said the Head to Health Centre was comparable to an "adult version" of national youth mental health foundation, Headspace.
"It'll be a centre where people can come and get advice from people with an array of technical medical skills there," Mr Coulton said.
"If that help is not there they'll have the ability to refer them on."
The funding has come from the National Mental Health and Suicide Plan, which wasannounced in the latest federal budget.
It has been committed over four years.
Mr Coulton said community consultation would be needed before any specifications on the location and design were made.
"There's not a location decided yet or a final design," he said.
Rising mental health incidents in the region
Mr Coulton said he'd had numerous conversations with far west locals about rising incidents of mental health issues, particularly related to drug and alcohol problems.
"Mental health has become an issue that's at the forefront of many communities and it's something that people are aware of the importance of," he said.
Broken Hill mayor Tom Kennedy said the region had been screaming out for more services as mental health incidents continued to rattle communities.
"We've dealt unfortunately with a number of suicides over a period of time so anything that can address mental health issues in Broken Hill is a bonus to the whole region as a lot of our services are used by Wilcannia and Menindee and others just outside our area," Mr Kennedy said.
He said he hoped the centre would help attract and retain more health professionals in the region.
"The people that are employed are the most important and thankfully we've got four years of funding for that and virtually we'll be guaranteed to continue beyond that," Mr Kennedy said.
"We can have the nicest building in the world but if we don't have the appropriate professionals in there that deal with the circumstances that arise the building is almost useless."
Coulton says centre not 'instead of' rehab facility
The new facility will provide professional medical assistance and advice to people who are suffering but it's unclear whether or not more drug and alcohol rehabilitation services will be made available any time soon.
"I know the state government made a commitment recently for more drug and alcohol services associated with the hospital," Mr Coulton said.