25 February 2022

Access to timely mental health care and treatment in communities across the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) will be enhanced through a new program led by people with lived experience of mental illness.

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the Mental Health Peer Navigation Pilot, funded by the NSW Mental Health Commission, will see part-time Peer Navigators help people living in Warren and Coonabarabran navigate and access services over a 12-month period.

“The focus of this initiative is to help people better understand what support is available in their community and take a ‘no wrong door’ approach to care,” Mrs Taylor said.

“The Peer Navigators will provide support, coaching and mentorship to people with mental health concerns, not only connecting them to relevant services for ongoing mental health support but also services that can assist with employment, transport and housing.

“This is about making sure that the care we are providing is co-ordinated and the Peer Navigators will proactively identify and fix any barriers.”

Minister for Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the Peer Navigators will work three days a week in Warren and Coonabarabran, providing valuable support on the ground for those communities.

“Because of their lived experience, the Peer Navigators will do a fantastic job of connecting with people in Warren and Coonabarabran on a personal, relatable level,” Mr Saunders said.

“The impact programs like these have on locals is immeasurable and I look forward to the people of Western NSW feeling more connected and aware of the mental health services available to them.”

For more information on the Peer Navigation Pilot Project in Warren and Coonabarabran or to find out how to access the service, people can call (02) 6881 4000 or email WNSWLHD-MHDA-Engagement@health.nsw.gov.au.