A $4.9 million commitment by the Liberal party to build the Peel Youth Medical Service (PYMS) Health Hub will mean young people in the region will benefit from the facility no matter who wins the March 11 state election.
The $6 million health hub, which would bring together health services for young people under one roof, has received funding commitments from both the state government and opposition, along with $2 million from the federal government, meaning it will become a reality over the next few years.
The Liberal pledge was made at the proposed site of the PYMS health hub on Allnutt Street just east of the Mandurah Bowling Club on Saturday by mental health minister Andrea Mitchell.
She said the project would lead to a change in how local youth are affected by a number of mental health issues.
“Peel is a growth area and in that growth there are a lot of young people and we need to provide the services that are needed for those young people in a way that works for them,” she said.
“Youth mental health is a strong focus of mine full stop.
“For our young people, and particularly from our point of view in mental health, it’s important that we get to them early.
“It’s important they know how to access services and it’s important they feel comfortable in getting that access.”
Dawesville Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup, who had worked with PYMS on securing funding for the health hub, said the announcement was a result of the community working together.
“This is a great result for our community, and an even better result for what can happen when you work together as a team in our community towards a common goal,” he said.
“This is the City of Mandurah and the leadership of Mayor Marina Vergone, it’s the federal government and the leadership of Andrew Hastie, it’s the leadership of GP down south and PYMS, all responding to the concerns of our community with respect to mental health.
“This is a great result and a much needed facility that's going to be built here so thank you.”
Canning MP Andrew Hastie, who had secured a $2 million commitment from the federal government to assist in the construction of the facility, said the Liberal party at both state and national levels was committed to “super-charging” PYMS.
“PYMS is a locally grown organisation, it is trusted by the people of Peel and so it’s not just cash being thrown at a problem, it’s organic, it’s got strong grassroots support,” he said.
“From day one we’ve had support from the City of Mandurah through Marina Vergone, we’ve had it from David Templeman, we’ve had it from Kim Hames and we all went together along with other service providers and leaders in the community to advocate to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull back in April.
“The federal government has delivered $2 million and it’s really gratifying to see it being matched by the state government with another commitment of $4.9 million.”
City of Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone said she was pleased Ms Mitchell had acknowledged more resources were needed for the Peel’s young people.
“The Peel Health Campus is looking after 120,000 people in the Peel area and they don't even have one mental health bed down there,” she said.
“So we are definitely lacking in this area and I thank Minister Mitchell for coming down and recognising we are lacking in serious services down here and this is why we're really excited to get on board with PYMS.
“All three levels of government are behind this.”
Ms Mitchell said the Liberal Government had a strong track record in mental health, with the state government increasing spending on mental health by more than $390 million since it was elected in 2008.