Steph Cooke in the Harden Multi Purpose Health Service.

People in the Cootamundra electorate are being reminded that there are a number of free, confidential and easy to access mental health supports available in person, on the phone and online around the clock.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said that mental health programs and services are available both for young people and the wider community, and encouraged anyone needing assistance to reach out now.

“It’s great that mental health is in such focus right now, we need to talk about it. But we need to talk about it in the right way,” said Ms Cooke.

“Every teenager should know the dangers of drinking and driving, every teenager is taught ‘speeding kills’, well every teenager should know where and how they can access free mental health services”.

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said that there were services and programs with a focus on vulnerable populations such as young people which she encouraged those in the community to access whenever they need support.

“Mental health support is available. We do not want our young people or anyone else to think they won’t get the help they need if they ask for it.”

“There are specialist counsellors in schools and resources available for teachers and families. There are specialist community youth services and Headspace. No young person has to feel like they have nowhere to turn when they are really struggling.”

The NSW Government has invested $80m in mental health programs in response to the COVID–19 Pandemic. This is in addition to increased mental health and crisis support services for children, young people and adults in NSW, through $34.6 million over four years to Beyond Blue, Black Dog Institute, Lifeline and Kids Helpline.

If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511