4 minute read

New Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals are available now to provide support via telephone and telehealth.

We asked Lisa Henderson, Service Manager for the Greater Bendigo, Campaspe and Loddon regions who they are for and how they work.

“People can pick up the phone and call us to get immediate free and confidential support,” she said. 

“Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals are providing support for people who are struggling with a range of issues. Financial pressures, homelessness and housing insecurity, issues with alcohol and other drugs, lack of services, family issues, and social isolation are some of the key factors impacting people’s mental health and wellbeing in the region.”  

“Some people calling may be experiencing psychological distress and want some support – and sometimes people just want to know where they can get this or that service and can we help them connect to them,” she said. 

Mind has a dedicated team of experienced and qualified community mental health and peer practitioners, providing support via telehealth and telephone service, Lisa said.

People can pick up the phone and call us to get immediate free and confidential support.
- Lisa Henderson, Service Manager, Mind Australia

Mind provides psychosocial support to help people manage daily activities, rebuild and maintain connections, engage with education and employment, and participate fully in the community. These are supports which help people take positive steps in their recovery journey. 

Mind’s General Manager for Locals Service Establishment John Bamborough said the range of support professionals offered will grow over the time.

“Any person (aged 26 years and above) can access telehealth or telephone services now. As the locations establish, in-community support will become accessible, followed by face-to-face support by appointment until sites begin accepting walk-ins, which we are expecting to be in mid-2024.” 

“As the range of services increase, so will the number of staff, such as community mental health workers, alcohol and other drug (AOD) clinicians, and peer support workers who draw on their lived and living experience of mental health and/or issues with Alcohol and Other Drugs and psychological distress.” 

Alongside Mind’s person-centred support services, people who call a Mental Health and Wellbeing Local can access support from key regional health organisations including Bendigo Health, Echuca Regional Health, Monash Health, Western Health, The Salvation Army, Bendigo District Aboriginal Cooperative, and Thorne Harbour Health for LGBTIQA+ support. 

Lisa said that growing up in Echuca and working in mental health for many years in the region has given her a lot of insight into the range of mental health and wellbeing concerns people are dealing with in the local community. 

She was Service Manager for another Mind-managed service in Bendigo – the Early Intervention Psychosocial Support Response (EIPSR) from its inception in 2019. EIPSR helps people with mental health conditions who are having difficulty managing everyday tasks to create a personalised recovery plan.

“It means a lot to be someone from the local community involved in delivering the Mental Health and Wellbeing Local for the Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Campaspe regions,” Lisa said. “I’ve grown up here and I’m excited to be part of bringing this important support service to the region.”  

How to access your Mental Health and Wellbeing Local   

For free local support, please call: 

  • Dandenong, call: 0389 081 800 
  • Melton, call: 0387 323 200
  • Bendigo, call: 0354 975 600
  • Echuca, call: 0354 126 600 

People can also call 1800 332 501 to be connected with support in these areas. 

If you need help in your language, call TIS National on 131 450 and ask for an interpreter, then ask to be connected to a Mental Health and Wellbeing Local on 1300 375 330. Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals are not crisis services. In an emergency which is life-threatening or where there is immediate risk of harm to anyone, call Triple Zero (000). For 24-hour crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders can also call 13 YARN on 13 92 76. 13 YARN is a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.