The Victorian government has announced 20 pop-up mental health services will be established across Victoria as part of a $22.1 million mental health support package.
Of the 20 pop-up mental health services, 12 will be located in metropolitan Melbourne and eight in regional Victoria. All of the services will be free to access by anyone in the community and will provide counselling, wellbeing checks and referrals to Victorians struggling with mental health. A hotline and website will also be established as part of the package.
Deputy premier, James Merlino, said: "We know that the pandemic is having a particular impact and over the last 19 months we've invested more than $225 million in a whole range of initiatives to support Victorians who are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic."
The additional mental health package announced today will allocate $13.3 million to the pop-up services, with the remaining funding to go to existing organisations working with specific groups of people who may be at higher risk of poor mental health. This includes $4 million for Aboriginal-controlled organisations, $1 million for the Triple P Parenting Program (assisting parents and carers of children suffering anxiety), and $1.2 million for LGBTQIA community organisations.
The pop-up mental health services are expected to open from the end of September.