'The problem is real': The call for further resources at Peel Health Hub is growing

The call for further resources at the Peel Health Hub is growing after health service providers said the Australian-first health model was not functioning as promised.

The Mandurah Mail spoke with Peel Youth Medical Service (PYMS) spokeswoman Eleanor Britton earlier this month, who said the clinic, which opened in November 2018, was a "victim of its own success".

Ms Britton said the number of appointments made at PYMS, which helps young people with complex problems including mental health, drug and alcohol issues, had doubled since it joined other health service organisations at the Peel Health Hub last year.

She said the nine organisations based at the Allnutt Street clinic in Mandurah had experienced a "significant growth" in clients since opening.

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Ms Britton said the Peel Health Hub needed funding to employ care coordinators to assess walk-ins so every young person would receive help.

In 2016, eight suspected suicides from Rockingham to Harvey, prompted a rethink of healthcare services being offered in the region.

Three Mandurah boys between 14 and 17 years old, took their own lives in the space of five months.

Last week, local politicians promised to act on the issue of funding.

Mandurah MP David Templeman said he hoped a "cocktail of funding" could be provided from various sources.

Canning MP Andrew Hastie said he would write to state and federal health ministers and ask for their support and Shadow State Health Minister Zak Kirkup said he would continue to lobby State Health Minister Roger Cook.

Ms Britton said she appreciated the words of support, but they could not afford to wait.

"We need action now though to increase our clinical capacity by way of funding for highly skilled care coordinators for the clients of the Peel Health Hub," she said.

"These are real people we are talking about, not just numbers and statistics - they need and deserve our support now."

GP Down South regional manager Denise Puddick said the Hub needed funding to prevent "further potential tragic situations occurring".

"While we are waiting for funding, kids who are in crisis, are walking in to our building looking for support," she said.

"The problem is real and it is in our own backyard. The care coordinator will be there for the kids when they come to us.

"The longer we leave it, the more lives that are affected."

Palmerston spokesman Bram Dickens said the Hub was always intended to be more than a group of services co-located.

"Three years ago, we spoke about what we could achieve and what we wanted was an integrated service," he said.

"If a client comes through the door and is not sure what they want, or clearly needs more than one service, we need a function that makes that work.

"In the integrated service we have planned at the Peel health Hub, that function is the care coordination role."

Mayor Rhys Williams said it was important the Hub received adequate resources.

"The Peel Health Hub is a vital part of the social fabric of Mandurah, and it's important that it receives adequate resources to deliver the patient-centred care model," he said.

"I know our local MPs are working hard to advocate to state and federal governments to get these resources, and I'm grateful to them for that."

Shadow federal health minister Chris Bowen declined to comment on where the funds should come from.

If you or someone you know needs urgent support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline (5 to 25 years) on 1800 55 1800.