Mental health hospital admissions have risen 13 per cent in Grafton and Coffs Harbour last financial year. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Mental health hospital admissions have risen 13 per cent in Grafton and Coffs Harbour last financial year. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

Mental health admissions rise across Coffs, Grafton

NEW data has revealed the Coffs Harbour and Grafton regions saw a 13 per cent increase in hospital admissions for mental health treatment last financial year.

The research from Medibank Group shows a 34 per cent increase in men seeking help, while there has been a 30 per cent reduction in women being admitted to hospital for mental health treatment.

The data found that Medibank and ahm supported almost 120 hospital admissions across Coffs Harbour and Grafton last financial year for mental health treatment, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in hospital admissions could be as a result of greater community awareness of the importance of seeking support, as well as an increase in those needing treatment.

Medibank also paid more than $400,000 in benefits for mental health treatment for customers across Coffs Harbour and Grafton last financial year to June 2020.

Medibank chief customer officer David Koczkar said Australians have endured a particularly tough year and it's important to remind everyone to check-in on their mental health.

"Mental health issues don't discriminate and can impact anyone. We've spent time in lockdown, and it can take a toll, so looking after yourself is so important," Mr Koczkar said.

"Whether you enjoy going for a walk, practising mindfulness, eating well or connecting with family and friends, we encourage people to take time out to look after their health and wellbeing.

"During Mental Health Month, we hope the community discussion promotes greater awareness of the importance of seeking support sooner rather than later."

Mr Koczkar said in response to the mental health challenges posed by COVID-19 Medibank has been ramping up its support for customers across Coffs Harbour and Grafton as the community need grows.

"We know that some of our customers are currently dealing with financial hardship, unemployment or maybe feeling disconnected from family and friends. It's really tough to do that alone so we want them to know that we are here to support them," Mr Koczkar said.

"Our new support is focused on providing our customers with more options to invest in their mental health and access to a broader range of treatment options at home.

"Whether its participating in our Live Better at Home program or accessing resources through our healthy mind hub or seeking treatment through our 24/7 Mental Health Phone Support (1800 644 325) or via telehealth-based psychology services, we are making it even easier to get the support people need, when they need it."

One in five Australians will experience a mental health issue each year but more than half won't access any treatment.

Medibank and ahm paid more than $190 million last financial year in benefits nationally for mental health-related hospital admissions.

Headlines