At least one specialist child and adolescent mental health team will be established in the Murrumbidgee within the next four years.
The NSW government has announced $109.5 million for 25 "Safeguards" mental health response teams, which will be spread across the state in a bid to improve access to wraparound care for young people.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District director of mental health Robyn Manzie said that any additional funding for mental health service was "good news" though district was yet to receive specific details about the program.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor announced the funding on June 17, following a month in which three young people died by suicide in the Riverina.
Mr Perrottet said the multidisciplinary teams would provide "rapid and flexible community care responses" to children and adolescents in acute mental health distress.
Mrs Taylor said the "Safeguards" teams would provide community based support to help children, teens and their families coordinate crisis care and then transition into longer term supports.
Member for Wagga Joe McGirr said he had been in contact with Mrs Taylor requesting more detail, but said the program was "looking promising".
Member for Murray Helen Dalton cautiously welcomed the funding announcement but said she was eager to see the service introduced in Griffith.
"Wagga often takes the cream and takes the milk as well. They tend to neglect Griffith. They've said Wagga meets all our needs [for mental health] and no it doesn't," she said.
"We need to get to the bottom of what's causing the mental health problem. What we do want is a purpose built mental health unit in Griffith."
Wagga Base Hospital is home to the only acute mental health inpatient unit in the MLHD.
If you need support or are struggling with mental illness, please contact any of these crisis support helplines:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
- Kids Helpline (for people aged 5-25 years): 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelpline.com.au
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 www.beyondblue.org.au
- If you are in the Murrumbidgee, you can use this free online resource to locate services: mapmyrecovery.org.au OR call AccessLine: 1800 800 944