Mental health centre now open

Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Emma McBride cuts the ribbon for the official opening of Head to Health Kingaroy as Stewart Gordon, Andrew Saal, Margie Hams, Kirsten Firman and Kate Johnson look on. PICTURE: DDWMPHN

A new mental health service has been established in the South Burnett.

The Kingaroy Head to Health Centre was officially opened on 31 January, with the help of Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Emma McBride.

“Many Australians don’t know where to turn if they, or a loved one, are struggling with their mental health,” Ms McBride said.

“That’s why we’re building a network of Head to Health services in Queensland and right across the nation.

“So support is readily available, when and where people need it – free of charge and without an appointment.”

The centre is a team effort from Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN and Open Minds and is now located in the old Garden Centre building at 98 Kingaroy Street, Kingaroy.

The Kingaroy Head to Health centre was established to offer free immediate, walk-in support for people experiencing distress or crisis.

It provides welcoming and low-stigma entry to mental health support through assessment and warm referrals to appropriate local services.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO, Lucille Chalmers, shared how important the services were for the South Burnett.

“We know that mental health is a key priority in the South Burnett and across our region, and that our communities need support with their mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety,” she said.

“Head to Health can offer direct support to those with immediate need but will also connect people to other mental health services across the region.”

The face-to face Head to Health centre in Kingaroy complements the existing national Head to Health assessment and referral phone service, which has been available in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region since July 2022 via 1800 595 212.

The establishment of a physical centre in Kingaroy means South Burnett residents can choose to either call or walk in to access the Head to Health services.

The Kingaroy Head to Health centre was driven by a comprehensive co-design process involving South Burnett GPs, service providers, representatives from Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, community members and people with a lived or living experience of mental health concerns.

Open Minds Chief Executive Officer, Kate Johnson, said Open Minds was pleased to provide the welcoming space co-designed with the Kingaroy community to access quality mental health and crisis support.

“We are extremely motivated to improve the mental health of people in the South Burnett region communities and are honoured to provide alternatives to hospitals and GPs for people needing support,” Ms Johnson said.

The Head to Health adult mental health satellite service was first announced in May 2022 by Maranoa MP David Littleproud who announced $3.4 million was allocated for three years of the project from the Federal Government to the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network from 2022/23 to 2024/25.

“I encourage people who are worried about their own or a loved one’s mental health to visit this centre – you don’t have to go [through] it alone,” Mr Littleproud said.

The South Burnett project was part of the Government’s $3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform of the mental health system.

The Kingaroy Head to Health Centre is free and available to people in the South Burnett of all ages. No referrals or appointments are necessary.

The centre provides short to medium mental health care, free, immediate mental health support for people in distress or crisis and helps connect people to the most appropriate long-term care if needed.

Kingaroy Head to Health, will be open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 6pm and on Fridays from 10am to 3pm (excluding public holidays). For more information head to: