The last few years have been more stressful than most, but there is plenty of help around for those looking to improve their mental health.
Now, a new website has been created to help south-west Sydney locals better navigate the healthcare space for their mental health needs.
Headstart South Western Sydney has just launched, helping connect people with trust free or low-cost mental health services.
The website provides information relevant to Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee local government areas, and filters services based on a person's demographics and mental health needs.
Launched by the South-Western Sydney Primary Health Network, Headstart was designed so people could find information specific to their age, location and mental health need.
The navigation tool includes local services for managing conditions like anxiety and/or depression, eating disorders, personality disorders, and support for challenging situations like grief and loss, domestic and family violence, and gambling concerns.
Headstart brings information about local services into one, easy-to-search platform and includes contact details and referral pathways for those services.
SWSPHN chief executive Dr Keith McDonald said Headstart was designed to make finding help for mental health concerns easier for people of all ages, backgrounds, levels of need and personal circumstances.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly put a strain on not only the physical health of our community but on our mental health and wellbeing, making easy access to free, localised and targeted information and services is more important than ever," he said.
"People can visit the Headstart website, set their suburb and answer a few simple questions which will connect them with the services best suited to their needs and eligibility."
SWSPHN Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Manager Jade Weidner thanked local mental health service providers and people with lived experience who played an important role in shaping and developing Headstart.
"Their valuable input assisted us in developing a tool which will meet the specific needs of our community," she said.
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