Aboriginal Mental Health : NACCHO welcomes funding model for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention from the PHN


Congratulations Galambila Coffs Harbour  on the successful tender to address Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in your region.

NACCHO applauds the Galambila Aboriginal Community Controlled efforts to ensure our people have ready access to these vital services at the local level.

We believe Galambila will be best placed to ensure these services are not only high quality and professional but most certainly are culturally relevant, appropriate and safe for our people who need to use them”.

“NACCHO welcomes the funding for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention from the PHN and looks forward to this outcome being replicated with all our Member ACCHs throughout the country.

Well done in leading the way in this important initiative“.


Pictured above with PHN representatives are Local Federal Member Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP with Galambila Chair Reuben Robinson, Board members Christian Lugnan , Kerrie Burnet and CEO Kristine Garrett

North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) is excited to announce funding of $300,000 for Galambila Aboriginal Health Service in Coffs Harbour to deliver the Aboriginal Mental Health Capacity Building Project in partnership with Werin Aboriginal Medical Service in Port Macquarie.

The project will:

  • Put in place integrated social and emotional wellbeing plans for Aboriginal people in Port Macquarie with complex needs, focussing on improving wellbeing and recovery
  • Develop a tailored care model for Aboriginal mental health in Coffs Harbour and Hastings Macleay
  • Improve cultural competence for health professionals working with the Aboriginal community
  • Improve awareness among the Aboriginal community of mental health and suicide prevention services

NCPHN’s Chief Executive Dr Vahid Saberi said the project would be an innovative and much needed addition to mental health services available for Aboriginal people.

“The latest figures available show that Aboriginal people on the Mid North Coast and Hastings Macleay are experiencing nearly twice the yearly hospitalisation rate (2857) of non-Indigenous people (1654) for mental health related issues.

“We are pleased with the scope of the Galambila project which includes the development of a special care model for Aboriginal mental health,” he added.

Galambila’s CEO Kristine Garrett welcomed the project funding.

“The Aboriginal Mental Health Capacity Building Project will improve mental health outcomes for local Aboriginal people,” Ms Garrett said.

Galambila Aboriginal Medical Service was awarded the funding as a result of a tender process. Organisations were invited to establish novel mental health services, as well as implement projects to increase the capacity of the mental health system to respond to the needs of Aboriginal people and support their access to services.

Through North Coast Primary Health Network, the Australian Government has provided funding of $3.8 million for mental health, suicide prevention, drug and alcohol services and projects to improve the health system. Over coming months, NCPHN will use this funding to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of mental health and drug and alcohol services across the region.



We work alongside community members and health professionals to improve access to well-coordinated quality health care. Our aim is to work together to transform the healthcare system and reduce health inequities.

Our work begins by gaining an understanding of health care needs of the North Coast.

This needs assessment involves our community, clinicians and service providers and is available for all to use. We use this information to work with health professionals and community members to find gaps and facilitate local solutions.

We do this by commissioning services – this is a new way of all of us working together to design services that best meet our community’s needs.  Our priorities are

  1. Better mental health and emotional well-being
  2. Closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  3. Improving our population’s health and wellbeing
  4. Building a highly skilled and capable health workforce
  5. Improving the integration of health services through electronic and digital health platforms
  6. Improving the health and wellbeing of older people

For more information, go to: http://www.ncphn.org.au

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