A specialised facility to care for young people with mental health problems should be set up in Orange.
That's the view of Orange councillor Tony Mileto who is calling on the state government to pursue part of the $2.3 billion allocated to mental health care in this week's federal budget to fund the Orange facility.
"We need a specialised mental health facility for youth, we need that now. It is a community issue, it's something that is urgently needed," he said.
Our numbers would suggest that we are the priorityCr Tony Mileto
Cr Mileto said pyschologists and psychiatrists in the region can't keep up with the demand for young people needing their service.
"They can't get an appointment. Waiting time can anything up to six weeks."
Cr Mileto said he had helped organise a round-table conference in Orange a few weeks ago attended by the NSW minister for mental health, regional youth and women, Bronnie Taylor.
He said she had agreed to speak to the government about the issue. "I'm calling on the state government to take on our concerns," he said.
"The government has allocated $2.3 billion. I believe NSW [government] should put up their hand, and in particular [for] Orange to say we need a piece of that pie.
"Our numbers would suggest that we are the priority," he said. "We need some of that money."
Cr Mileto said he had been contacted by 'a number of people' concerned about mental health for young people in Orange and the region.
"While statistics tell us youth suicides are decreasing, the statistics also tell us self-harming is increasing."
He said he wanted to involve all groups who had interests in the issue in the push for an Orange facility.
"I would like to think all organisations would be part of what we are trying to achieve."
Western NSW Public Health Network acting CEO Robert Strickland said the region's communities were being impacted by suicide attempts and deaths.
He said several organisations were available to help.
"To those having thoughts of suicide or are supporting someone who is in crisis, you are not alone, there are many people and organisations that are ready to help you," he said.
They include: Lifeline (call) 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800, MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78, Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36 and Mental Health Emergency Care 1800 011 511.
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