News • 02 Feb 2024

Open Minds supports Kingaroy community with the official opening of Head to Health services

Open Minds, in partnership with Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN, will deliver quality mental health support to more Queenslanders in the South Burnett region with the official opening of the Kingaroy Head to Health centre.

Head to Health provides immediate, face–to–face support for people experiencing distress or crisis, as well as short to medium–term mental health care.

As the lead agency, Open Minds will operate the Kingaroy Head to Health service, offering welcoming and low–stigma entry to mental health support for people of all ages, through assessment and referrals, as well as providing direct mental health care.

Open Minds Chief Executive Officer, Kate Johnson said Open Minds is well placed to support people in South Burnett region and has a strong reputation for providing community mental health services.

“We are excited to provide a welcoming space co–designed with the Kingaroy community for those experiencing mental health challenges,” said Kate.

“Open Minds recognises the present shortage of accessible mental health services and is committed to providing better access to quality mental health care, particularly in rural and remote communities.”

“We have demonstrated success in delivering Head to Health services in Lismore since August 2022 and look forward to achieving positive outcomes for the Kingaroy community.”

Kingaroy Head to Health first opened its doors in December 2023, and on 31 January 2024, the Hon. Emma McBride MP, Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention cut the ribbon to formally mark the opening.

The service was established in consultation with local GPs, service providers, representatives from Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, community members and people with a lived or living experience of mental illness.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO, Lucille Chalmers, recognises the importance of this service for our region.
“We know that mental health is a key priority in South Burnett and across our region, and that our communities need support with their mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety. 

Head to Health can offer direct support to those with immediate need but will also connect people to other mental health services across the region.”  

“Introducing a mental health service now will support people following the holiday season, when we know there can be an increased need for the type of support Head to Health offers.” 

Open Minds General Manager Integrated Mental Health, Michelle Underhill is delighted the centre is now officially opened and welcomes the opportunity to strengthen partnerships to deliver exceptional services.

“We’re looking forward to working with Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN, Darling Downs Health, the local Health and Hospital Service, and other general practice and community-based mental health services, and to becoming an even stronger and integrated partner in community mental health in Kingaroy,” Michelle said.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN secured funding for the site as part of a national $487.2 million Mental Health and Suicide Prevention package in May 2022, and Open Minds was appointed lead agency of the service following a comprehensive tender process.

The Kingaroy Head to Health centre is located at 98 Kingaroy Street, Kingaroy.

No referral or appointment is necessary, and services are free and available to people aged 18 and older.

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