Free Medicare Mental Health Centre to open in Coffs Harbour

The Medicare Mental Health Centre will open in late June at the Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre.

A MEDICARE Mental Health Centre is opening in late June at the Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre.

Healthy North Coast, who delivers the North Coast Primary Health Network program on behalf of the Australian Government, has contracted not-for-profit organisation Open Minds as the centre provider.

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“The Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre is a safe and welcoming location and ‘service front door’ which is already incredibly well-known, trusted and integrated across the community, close to the centre of town, public transport and medical services,” said Monika Wheeler, CEO of Healthy North Coast.

“It is located within the Community Village of co-located service partners and the service model includes critical linkages with Local Health District teams and Galambila Aboriginal Health Service.”

It is estimated that 43 percent of Australians will experience mental health distress at some point in their lives.

“It is vitally important we have a range of mental health services that are easily accessed in times of need,” Monika said.

“Coffs Harbour residents will be able to visit the new Medicare Mental Health Centre via walk-in, with no appointments or referrals necessary, and free of charge.”

“We’re confident that the Coffs Harbour Centre will be a welcome addition for residents looking for a tailored experience and connection to the right support for them and their circumstances, which are different for everyone,” said Monika.

Rik Barker, General Manager of Integrated Mental Health Services (NSW) at Open Minds, also welcomed the announcement.

“We look forward to opening the doors in Coffs and delivering a quality mental health service, improving the wellbeing of people on the Mid North Coast,” said Rik.

The Coffs Harbour Medicare Mental Health Centre will be staffed by mental health and allied health professionals who will be available for visitors, depending on their level of need.

There will also be access to a Social and Emotional Wellbeing Worker for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, delivered in partnership with the Galambila Aboriginal Health Service.

“If you’re not able to visit the centre in person, I would encourage people to call the free Head to Health 1800 595 212 service where specialist staff can help assess your needs and connect you to care over the phone.

“This is also a great option for people seeking support, and I encourage our communities to spread the word about these much-needed support services.”

If a person is experiencing life difficulties and is feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious they can:

1. Phone the central Head to Health phone line on 1800 595 212 and talk to trained mental health staff about their concerns and receive information and support options;

2. From 1 July, walk into the Coffs Harbour Medicare Mental Health Centre and talk with trained mental health staff face to face, with free in-house counselling and mental health support options available.


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