Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Mandurah on Friday morning, to meet with doctors from the Peel Youth Medical Service (PYMS) and young people who told of their struggle with mental health.
Hosted by Canning MP Andrew Hastie, Mr Turnbull was also briefed on plans for a PYMS Youth Health Hub, which the government promised $2 million for during the election.
The health hub, which would bring together in one building the region’s medical and mental health service for young people, would support at-risk youths.
The Prime Minister said each of us had a vested interest in the mental health of all Australians.
“That's why engagement, awareness, recognition, acknowledgement of the mental health challenge is so important,” he said.
“And that is why the non-judgmental treatment that's provided here at PYMS is so important.
“The young people – the members of the youth reference group, who are such shining examples of young men and women – who have faced mental health challenges themselves have taken advantage of the services available here and then been able to be ambassadors and role models who can empathise with their own generation.”
The cost of the PYMS Youth Health Hub is expected to be close to $6 million and Mr Turnbull said he would encourage the state government to also provide support.
“But we're making a substantial commitment which has been secured by Andrew Hastie, and this is a very strong community in the way it has pulled together in the face of some very tragic events.”
Mr Hastie paid tribute to the way the community had come together to support the project.
“I think in an increasingly polarised political world, it's great to see what we can achieve when we have people like David Templeman, Kim Hames, Marina Vergone, Rhys Williams, all these different characters who all turned up for the initial meeting with the Prime Minister,” he said.
“We all pulled in the same direction and this is what we've achieved.”
The meeting with the Prime Minister and health minister included City of Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone, GP Down South CEO Amanda Poller, GP Down South Business Development Manager Eleanor Britton, Dr Rupert Backhouse, Dr Simone Stubbs, Assistant Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM MP and PYMS Youth Reference Group representatives, Jaspa Powell and Lisa Murphy.
Support is available by calling Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, Lifeline on 131 114, or beyondblue on 1300 22 46 36.