A MENTAL health facility which has had strong results for patients in other regional areas could be operating in Bathurst in the near future.
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Member for Bathurst Paul Toole has confirmed he will be advocating for a Safe Haven in Bathurst, similar to the ones already operating in Parkes and Dubbo, following news there is "one on the cards" for Orange.
There have been increased calls for improved mental health services for teenagers in regional areas following the death of Bathurst teen Tilly Rosewarne earlier this year.
Tilly took her own life following what has been described as years of relentless online and schoolyard bullying.
This call to reduce the number of young lives being lost to suicide across the western region is being led by Australian Community Media, publisher of the Western Advocate.
Parkes' Safe Haven opened in December 2021, which was followed by the opening of a similar facility in Dubbo in March 2022.
The service aims to provide refuge and support to people living with or who experience suicidal thoughts or distress as part of a statewide initiative to trial innovative suicide prevention strategies.
It is a free and confidential service.
Minister for Mental Health and Regional Health Bronnie Taylor recently confirmed that a Safe Haven was on the cards for Orange. No mention of Bathurst was made.
However, following the success of the Safe Haven facilities out west, Mr Toole said he will be advocating for a similar facility here.
"Mental health affects people of all ages, and we need to ensure we have the right services in place for every age group," he said.
"One life lost is always one too many, which is why the NSW Government is investing a record $143.4 million in its Towards Zero Suicides Initiative.
"There is absolutely no shame in asking for help and people should never feel they have no-one to turn to."
IN OTHER NEWS AROUND BATHURST:
He said there were a range of support services available in the Bathurst region for people of all ages, including the Panorama Clinic, Headspace, The Mental Health Line and Lifeline Central West.
"This is in addition to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Response Team available through the Western NSW Local Health District," he said.
Mr Toole said the success of the Safe Havens in Parkes and Dubbo was a source of pride for his government.
"Since November last year, the Parkes Safe Haven alone has had almost 400 different people use the service, many using it multiple times a week," he said.
"While these services are accessible to anyone in the Central West without a referral or appointment, the NSW Government is actively looking to expand this incredible service across the region and I will be advocating strongly for one in Bathurst."
Recent statistics showed 30 per cent of individuals who accessed the Dubbo Safe Haven facility and provided feedback had not previously accessed mental health services.
A further 13 per cent said they would have presented to an emergency department if the Safe Haven had not been available as an alternative.
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