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Lead provider appointed to run new mental health support centre in Townsville

Published 08 October 2021

Community-based organisation Neami National has been appointed as the lead provider for the Townsville Head to Health.

Mental health

Townsville Head to Health, funded by Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) through the Australian Government’s PHN program, will be a front door for people over the age of 18 to access mental health support.

Residents in Townsville and surrounding areas who need mental health support for themselves, their family, or friends will be welcomed through a ‘no wrong door’ approach and supported to receive the support appropriate to their needs.

The centre will assist to address some of the current gaps existing for people experiencing high levels of distress or suicidal crisis and will reduce the number of emergency department presentations by providing a more accessible entry point to the mental health system.

NQPHN Chief Executive Officer Robin Whyte said Neami National was selected as the lead provider following an extensive tendering process.

“NQPHN’s commissioning objective was to identify a provider with local experience and a robust plan to engage with the Townsville community, not only in co-designing the service but also in ongoing service delivery and partnerships,” said Ms Whyte.

“The successful applicant also needed to have robust systems, corporate and clinical maturity, and experience in delivering mental health services.

“We were so pleased by the enthusiasm and interest shown by the market throughout this process and are honoured to be working with Neami National to bring this important mental health support service to Townsville.” 

NQPHN and Neami National will now work closely with the Townsville community, people with lived experience, general practice, and other local health professionals to ensure the centre is warm, welcoming, and embraces an evidence-based recovery approach that is client-centric and tailored to the needs of the local community.

Neami National Queensland State Manager Karen Thomas said working with NQPHN and their community partners allows them to offer something new to benefit visitors to the service and the wider community.

“Collaborating with Richmond Fellowship Queensland, Lives Lived Well, Townsville Multicultural Support Group, and the broader community will be the foundation to delivering a new way to access safe, welcoming, and inclusive mental health support for the people of Townsville,” said Ms Thomas.

“With co-design playing an important part of shaping the service, we are looking forward to engaging broadly to ensure we can meet the real neds of the community.”

With half of Townsville Head to Health staff in dedicated lived experience roles, the new service provides ‘peer-first, peer-last’ support, with lived experience support right on arrival all the way to when someone is ready to leave.

“We are excited to develop opportunities for people to bring a lived experience as part of a multidisciplinary team offering clinical and psychosocial support. Working together helps everyone understand how to best support good mental health and wellbeing,” Ms Thomas said.

The new service is scheduled to open in late 2021 and will be located in a prominent facility in the Townsville CBD.

Last updated: 12 October 2021