The Northern Territory’s peak primary health care body has welcomed the appointment of the Territory’s first Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
NT Primary Health Network (NT PHN) CEO, Gill Yearsley, said the new portfolio would help to shine a light on what is an acute issue facing thousands of Territorians.
“This is a landmark moment in Territory health,” she said.
“We welcome the NT Government’s decision to elevate the mental health of Territorians to a higher level of importance through the establishment of a dedicated portfolio and Minister in Lauren Moss.”
Ms Yearsley said the dedicated Mental Health and Suicide Prevention portfolio would complement the new $14 million Head to Health Adult Mental Health Centre in Darwin, which opened late last year and is already seeing a high demand for services. Mental health conditions contribute 16.3 per cent of the burden of disease in the NT compared with 7.4 per cent nationally by mental illness and substance use disorders.
The independent body also welcomed the Cabinet reshuffle which saw Chief Minister Natasha Fyles maintain the all-important Health portfolio.
“This will provide Territory health stakeholders and service providers with certainty and stability as we move through a crucial period of time, post COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ms Yearsley.
The NT PHN also congratulated Australian Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, on his victory over the weekend.
“We look forward to welcoming and working closely with a new Australian Health Minister in due time to improve the health and wellbeing of Territorians,” said Ms Yearsley.
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