14 December 2023

The Allan Labor Government is making sure people living in the Loddon Shire have access to mental
health and wellbeing support quickly, easily and without the need for a GP referral - with the Mental
Health and Wellbeing Local in Bendigo now offering care and support via telehealth.

Member for Ripon Martha Haylett today announced the recently established Local Service in Bendigo will
provide free access to support via telehealth from today for anyone aged 26 years and over - including
people with co-occurring alcohol and other drug concerns.

The Local Service provided by Mind Australia in partnership with Bendigo & District Aboriginal Cooperative,
Bendigo Health, Echuca Regional Health, The Salvation Army and Thorne Harbour Health Ltd
will scale up in the coming months, offering in-person services and becoming a ‘front door’ to the mental
health and wellbeing system for those living in Loddon, Greater Bendigo, Campaspe and Murray River
local government areas.

We know that the best possible support starts close to home, which is why Local Services provide
Victorians with community-based care from peer support workers and mental health professionals.

The Local Services deliver on a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental
Health System, with work now underway on more than 90 per cent of recommendations.

The first six Local Services commenced late last year and have reached more than 3,500 people in
Benalla-Wangaratta-Mansfield, Brimbank, Frankston, Greater Geelong-Queenscliffe, Latrobe, and

The Labor Government delivered a $776 million boost for mental health and wellbeing services right
across Victoria in the Victorian Budget 2023/24 - including $77 million to establish three additional
Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals and start the planning for another 20 locations.

For more information, including details for how to access telehealth consultations, please visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Ingrid Stitt

“We are delivering the biggest mental health reform in our nation’s history, and the Local Services play an
important role in ensuring we deliver the most accessible care for all Victorians, closer to home.”

“Our locals Local Services in Dandenong, Shepparton, Melton, Mildura, Lilydale, Bendigo, Echuca, Orbost
and Bairnsdale will now provide fast, free and flexible mental health and wellbeing support via telehealth
- as we continue to expand what our services will offer over in the coming months.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Ripon Martha Haylett

“Accessible support like this in the Loddon region can make all the difference in helping people address
problems quickly and easily before they reach crisis point.”

“The Royal Commission showed us that there can be a number of barriers hindering people’s access to the
mental health system – that is why commencing telehealth services now at the Mental Health and
Wellbeing Local in Bendigo will create a critically important ‘front door’ for people to get the help they
need right away.”