Because mental health doesn’t know how to tell time and alcohol and other drug support needs aren’t always between 9am and 5pm, from April 2022, in a first for the region, the Ballarat community will have access to mental health and/or alcohol and other drugs (AOD) supports after traditional business hours.
A new after-hours service from Ballarat Community Health, supported by Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN), will provide clients with the care they need at a time that’s convenient for them, either in a one-on-one session or in a group. Services will also be available to families, carers or significant others of people with mental health and/or AOD support needs.
Ballarat Community Health will run sessions weekly for the remainder of 2022 on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturdays by appointment. The service is free and will ensure support services are available to all community members, no matter their background, work situation, life commitments or financial status.
CEO of Ballarat Community Health, Sean Duffy, says the program is an innovative approach to bridging gaps between clients and care.
“This new service model has not been seen in the region before. It is free and available to anyone. It means people who are busy with work, children and other important life commitments – which unfortunately often take precedence over treatment – will have access to the support they need at a time that works for them.”
It’s easy to arrange to participate in an after-hours session, clients just need to complete the Expression of Interest form.
Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) CEO, Rowena Clift, said the new after-hours care service was the latest step in strengthening the mental health support currently available in Ballarat.
“Mental health and wellbeing support remains a key priority for the people of Ballarat. This new after-hours service is the latest link in local mental health care services to ensure everyone’s needs are met, and will work alongside other commissioned mental health services including Head to Health, headspace and the activities from the recent Place Based Suicide Prevention Trial.”