NT PHN welcomes new Chief Psychiatrist

NT PHN welcomes new Chief Psychiatrist

NT PHN has welcomed the appointment of the Territory’s Chief Psychiatrist, Dr David Mitchell.

The announcement was made today by Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles, and NT Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Lauren Moss, while visiting the Darwin Head to Health facility.

Dr David Mitchell has qualifications in general practice, adult psychiatry and medical administration. His most recent role was a consultant psychiatrist at NT Health for the Top End region.

NT PHN Regional Health Partnerships Manager – Top End, Matthew Mifsud, said the organisation would be working closely with Dr Mitchell to progress suicide prevention initiative across the NT.

“It was great to meet Dr Mitchell today at Darwin Head to Health, which NT PHN commissioned and is now run by Neami National in partnership with Larrakia Nation,” said Mr Mifsud.

“Since opening in January this year, Darwin Head to Health has already provided care for more than 1,600 clients so today’s announcement by the Chief Minister of a greater focus on mental health in the Territory is warmly welcomed by NT PHN.

“We also commend the NT Government for making the mental health of Territorians a priority through its announcement of a further $50 million to build and expand mental health infrastructure in the Territory.

“Continued financial investment and genuine collaboration between all stakeholders will be key to making progress in mental health outcomes for Territorians over the coming months and years.”

Dr Mitchell said he was looking forward to advocating for all Territorians who require access to mental health services.

“Ensuring clients’ needs are at the centre of their care is at the heart of what we do as mental health care providers. We’re continuing to see the integration of service delivery between clinical and non-clinical support to better meet the needs of the local community.

“There are many pathways and options to access the right mental health care – whether that be in an acute setting or by engaging with community support services and programs.”

As part of the NT Government’s announcement of $50 million mental health package, a new 18 bed inpatient unit and Stabilisation and Referral Area is expected to be built in Darwin within the next two years.

An additional investment of $9.3 million will also see the establishment of universal aftercare services, jointly funded by the NT Government and Federal Government.

The service means Territorians who are discharged from hospital following a severe mental health episode will receive follow up care.

The new universal aftercare service is currently in the co-design phase, with NT PHN expecting it to begin on 1 July 2023.

Chief Minister Natasha Fyles, NT Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Minister Lauren Moss and new NT Chief Psychiatrist Dr David Mitchell meet with NT PHN and Darwin Head to health staff.

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