Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Emma McBride cuts the ribbon while several members of the “co-design group” look on … Andrew Saal (ex-Lives Lived Well), Margie Hams (ex-SBRC), Kirsten Firman (South Burnett CTC) and Collette Ramsay (Qld Health)

February 2, 2024

Kingaroy’s new mental health support service, Head To Health, has been “officially” opened, even though it is already supporting about 30 clients.

The facility, located in the old garden centre building in Kingaroy Street, had a soft opening in mid-December while final work on the fitout was still under way.

Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Emma McBride travelled to Kingaroy on Wednesday to do the official honours.

The service is funded by the Federal Government via the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN but is being delivered in the South Burnett by Open Minds.

Minister McBride said the Federal Government was proud to have invested $4.5 million with the PHN to commission the Kingaroy centre.

“This is an important investment into the local community’s mental health and well-being,” she said.

The services offered have been “co-designed” by  members of the health and welfare community in the South Burnett to best suit local needs.

Members of this co-design group joined the Minister in the ribbon-cutting ceremony; they will now continue as a reference group to provide feedback as the service continues.

The opening ceremony began with a Welcome To Country by Wakka Wakka Elder Eric Law AM, whose daughter Nikita has also been heavily involved in the project.

Nikita has provided the artworks which hang throughout the building.

It also included an energetic performance by the Wakka Wakka dancers which was enjoyed by the invited guests.

The Kingaroy Head to Health facility has been conveniently – but discretely – located in the Kingaroy CBD to encourage people aged from 18 to 65 to simply walk in if they are experiencing distress or are in a crisis.

A multi-disciplinary team is on hand to provide assistance.

The centre has been designed to be “welcoming”, with quiet spaces as well as opportunities to simply sit and chat.

No referrals are necessary and, importantly, it is free.

There are also plans to develop the large area at the rear as a community garden.

Kingaroy Head To Health is open on Mondays to Thursdays from 10:00am to 6:00pm and on Fridays from 10:00am to 3:00pm (excluding public holidays).

Related articles:

South Burnett artist Nikita Law with one of her eight pieces, this one entitled “Country”, which adorn the facility

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN Acting CEO Stuart Gordon

Open Minds CEO Kate Johnson also spoke at the official opening
South Burnett councillors Duff, Erkens and Potter with Assistant Minister Emma McBride … it was a reunion of sorts for Crs Erkens and Potter who met up with Minister McBride at the Australian Local Government Association conference in Canberra last year to discuss the South Burnett’s mental health and suicide crisis

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Gallery Of Photos

The Wakka Wakka dancers performed a smoking ceremony and danced prior to the official opening:

Ros Heit for South Burnett Division 6
Vote 1 Kathy Duff for South Burnett Mayor


Vote 1 Jane Erkens for Division 1
Vote 1 Scott Hernschen for Division 6

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