Bowen will benefit from improved access to mental health services as part of a three-month trial being led by the Mackay Hospital and Health Service (HHS).
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the trial, which commenced on April 3, will see a full-time mental health clinician available to the Bowen community five days a week (excluding public holidays).
“I saw firsthand when I visited Bowen last week that the community and the town’s hospital and Queensland Ambulance Service officers are very strong, resilient people,” Mr Dick said.
“But that doesn’t mean some people need help, particularly following an event like Cyclone Debbie. This trial will help provide that much-needed mental and emotional support to locals following the devastation that Cyclone Debbie caused.
“As part of the trial, a review of demand and activity for mental health services across the Whitsundays will be undertaken to determine the most effective and efficient use of the mental health and alcohol and others drugs services in the local community.”
The Minister said the trial would run in addition to the current services available from the Bowen Community Health Centre.
“Mental health, drug and alcohol clinicians visit Bowen regularly and a psychiatrist visits once a month to provide assessments and counselling,” Mr Dick said.
“In addition, Bowen Hospital doctors have 24/7 access to an on-call psychiatrist and other mental health clinicians and mental health assessments can be provided by video conference.”