Mental health

A group of women walking along a local path surrounded by trees

Mental health and wellbeing is a significant issue in Brimbank and neighbouring municipalities in Melbourne’s west.

Brimbank residents report lower levels of subjective wellbeing than the Victorian average, with women experiencing more psychological distress, anxiety and depression than men. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Council commissioned a Mental Health Research Report analysing mental health service provision and the needs of Brimbank residents. It also aimed to identify strategies to improve community mental health and wellbeing.

The research shows that demand has overtaken the capacity of existing services to meet community needs. Access to services is not equitable, with poverty and disadvantage making it difficult for people to access services.

Other challenges to service access include:

  • not knowing and understanding what support exists
  • individual's resistance to acknowledging the need for assistance
  • stigma associated with getting help, and
  • difficulties of navigating a complex system.

Council is particularly concerned with mental wellbeing of young people, newly arrived migrants and women, harm from alcohol and other drugs, and increasing loneliness across our communities.

In 2022, Council endorsed the Brimbank Mental Wellbeing Plan 2022-24. The plan identifies a number of actions to be implemented over a two-year time frame, to enable Council to respond to service system reforms being rolled out by the Victorian Government to implement the Royal Commission recommendations.

Early intervention and primary prevention programs

Early intervention and primary prevention programs for those facing mental health challenges will build courage, improve self-awareness and increase a sense of belonging and self-worth.

Such programs are designed to help create an understanding of intrinsic value and the confidence to have a positive influence on the outside world.

Building such resilience in our community will contribute to preventing suicide ideation, increasing participation in society, and reducing the load on the current mental health system that is struggling to keep up with demand.

We are calling on the Victorian Government to provide funding for:

  • Personal development and mentoring programs for students at Brimbank’s six Victorian Government Secondary Schools ($60,000).
  • Brimbank to establish a Social Inclusion Action Group as part of the next tranche of allocated funding ($900,000).
  • Assertive outreach services in Brimbank for two years to support people experiencing mental ill-health, homelessness and issues with alcohol and other drugs ($480,000).
  • Delivering a total of 10 workshops capturing more than 200 sporting club leaders and members to help build the skills of the community to support mental health and wellbeing ($35,000).
Last updated: 29 January 2024 - 4:31pm