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Focus Area: Mental Health

Mental Health Cafe

Many people in our community struggle to access support after hours. Evenings and weekends can be a lonely and distressing time for some people.

The Latrobe Health Assembly is exploring whether an after hours ‘drop-in centre’ or ‘safe space’ might meet some of these needs. 


This ‘mental health cafe’ (temporary name) idea was initiated by members of the local Mental Health Forum, which brings together local and statewide providers, experts, and the community to focus on strategies and opportunities to enhance the mental health of the Latrobe Valley community.

The mental health café concept was identified as a way to provide a safe and welcoming space for people experiencing isolation or distress after hours, where they might have access to respite, peer support and advice. Cafes in other locations have found that this kind of support can reduce emergency department presentations (for non-emergency mental health issues); increase opportunities for peer support and social connection; improve experiences of mental health support and better outcomes.

Designing a local service

To explore this idea further for our community, the Assembly has engaged Larter Consulting to work with local community members and stakeholders to codesign a ‘café’ model to pilot in Latrobe.

During the design phase (June to August 2021), Larter is inviting people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress and their families and carers about what they would like to see in this kind of community support service. The design will be directly shaped by their feedback.

Share your thoughts or get involved

Register your interest to contribute ideas on what the drop-in centre should look like and what supports it should provide onsite.

Leave your contact details and we will be in touch to discuss opportunities to be involved.

There are a number of different ways to provide feedback or get involved, including as Lived Experience Project Advisors. We are committed to protecting your privacy and confidentiality and your contribution can be made anonymously. Please let us know if you have any access or inclusion needs.


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