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Lead agency selected for new Launceston adult mental health centre

Posted on November 9, 2021

Experienced mental health service provider Stride has been unveiled as the lead agency to run an innovative new mental health centre for adults living in the Launceston area.

Launceston Head to Health will aim to improve access to mental health and related support services for adults in distress or crisis, as well as family and friends needing information and advice.

Primary Health Tasmania (Tasmania PHN) is overseeing the establishment of Launceston Head to Health under the Australian Government’s Primary Health Networks program, and selected Stride to operate the centre following an open tender process.

Primary Health Tasmania spokesman Mark Broxton says the Head to Health model of delivering services in the community, with no charge and without the need for an appointment, referral or prior diagnosis, is a positive step forward.

“Around one in five people in our community will experience mental health problems in any year, with an estimated 14,860 Tasmanians living with a severe mental health disorder,” he says.

“It’s often unclear to people and their families and friends which services they should access for mental health problems.

“Launceston Head to Health will be a ‘no wrong door’ entry point to a range of services.”

Stride spokesperson Nicci Dickson says the organisation has a strong track record in the delivery of community-based and integrated mental health services in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.

Stride pioneered the adult integrated services in Australia with the Floresco model in 2014. Since then, the organisation has established five integrated adult hubs and one children’s centre, as well as operating seven headspace centres.

“We’re really excited about working with the existing local service providers to improve access to mental health services for people in the Launceston area,” she says.

“In the next month we will focus on the initial services that will commence in December, and will be recruiting a range of staff – including peer workers with lived experience of mental health.”

There has been extensive community consultation to develop a locally owned ‘philosophy of care’ – a framework outlining the goals and values to underpin the services provided through the centre.

Launceston Head to Health is scheduled to commence delivery of initial services from an interim site on the corner of Paterson and Wellington streets in December. There are plans for a new purpose-built site to open in Canning Street in mid-2022.

Services delivered from the interim site will be transitioned to the permanent site, at which time the full suite of services will be offered.

Read the full media release, including comments from Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt and Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer.

Pictured (L to R): Stride’s Nicci Dickson, Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer, and Primary Health Tasmania’s Mark Broxton.