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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is calling on the Federal Government to extend funding for the HeadtoHelp (H2H) program in Gippsland.

Mr Chester has written to the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, asking for the program to be extended for another five years to ensure mental health services are available in Gippsland.

“Since its establishment in Sale in late 2020, H2H Wellington has seen over 800 patients and provided them with access to care, support and referrals to appropriate services,” Mr Chester said.

“In Wellington, H2H has helped fill a gap in services and provided those who had never accessed services before with a clear path and timely referrals.

“While the service was originally established in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also assisted community members impacted by drought and bushfires.”

Mr Chester said there were numerous mental health services funded in Victoria but the system was difficult to navigate and access in times of need.

“H2H Wellington is directly linked with primary health care to improve access in the region,” Mr Chester said.

“Without additional funding beyond 2022, the loss of the HeadtoHelp program will see Gippslanders once again struggling to find appropriate mental health services locally.

“This is a worthwhile program and I will continue to advocate for further funding to ensure mental health support and services are provided to the Gippsland community.”

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