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Senator tours Victoria for rural mental health consultation

Media Release
Penny Wright 25 Oct 2012

Victoria is the next stop on Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright's Australia-wide tour to consult with people about the quality of, and access to, mental health services in rural, regional and remote Australia.

 Senator Wright, who is the Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, will visit Bendigo and the Gippsland region over the next two days to talk to individuals and stakeholders and learn more about the challenges faced by people living in country Victoria when it comes to accessing mental health services.

 "As I have been making my way around Australia, I have been hearing again and again that there are big gaps in mental health services in rural and regional areas and that services are too often crisis-driven," Senator Wright said.

 "We need to invest more money in early intervention services as well as expand community-based services, such as community centres and neighbourhood houses, which are a great model for enhancing wellbeing within communities.

 "During my visits to various towns around South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and WA, I have also been very impressed by some of the creative and innovative solutions communities have come up with and I am keen to see more of these tailored approaches.

 "It is important for me to get a comprehensive picture of mental health services in country Australia so we can identify the gaps in service delivery and determine what action needs to be taken to build healthier, more resilient communities.

 "A person should have access to support services that will enable them to live healthy and happy lives no matter where in Australia they decide to live."

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