Brimbank council has adopted a mental health plan 2022-2024 aiming to shape and strengthen strategies for improving mental health in the community.
Mental wellbeing has been identified as a significant issue according to Brimbank council with residents reporting lower levels of wellbeing than the Victorian average.
Following the Royal Commisssion into Victoria’ s Mental Health System, Brimbank council conducted research with key stakeholders last year to analyse mental health service provisions.
Six points were made identify issues in Brimbank following the research including stigma associated with getting help for mental health issues and demand for services exceeding supply.
Poverty and disadvantage making it difficult to access services was also an area identified alongside residents not knowing and understanding what support services exist.
Individual’s resistance to acknowledging the need for help and difficulties in navigating a complex mental health system were also issues.
Council identified that it could do more to play a role in supporting mental wellbeing through six points including building council’s knowledge-base and evidence of community need.
They also said advocating for and influencing the delivery of new services and supports as well as delivering social inclusion initiatives aimed at vulnerable groups.
Council also mentioned the support of mental health first aid training to make improvements, also raising awareness of services and supports to help people navigate the system and undertaking mental health and wellbeing promotion.
Brimbank Mayor Jasmine Nguyen said improving mental health a priority in Brimbank.
“Mental health services providers do an important job in helping to improve the community’s wellbeing and it is our role as a council to advocate, facilitate and enable the delivery of those essential services,” Cr Nguyen said.
“Improved mental wellbeing is a priority in Brimbank and the best way we can achieve this is through targeted strategies that support the vital work being done by our hard-working mental health service providers.
“Our research has identified better ways we can support people with mental health needs to access the services they need to live happy, healthy and productive lives.”