Victoria’s mental health sector to get a $22.1m boost in response to lockdown

Victoria's mental health sector is getting a $22.1 million boost to help those suffering during coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

The announcement comes after the state recorded 445 new cases and a further two deaths.

Health Minister James Merlino said the money would fund 20 new pop-up clinics – eight in regional Victoria and 12 in metropolitan Melbourne.

READ MORE: Man in his 20s among two new Victorian COVID-19 deaths

The support package will fund an extra 90 clinicians to provide an estimated 93,000 hours of wellbeing checks and counselling at the clinics.

The clinics will be run by health providers such as Mind, cohealth and EACH.

They will open from the end of the month.

A referral hotline and website is set be established in coming days so Victorians can start making appointments.

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Professor Patrick McGorry said parents and teachers in particular were struggling with mental health as lockdowns drag on.

He welcomed the boost to Victoria's mental health sector.

"We've been dealing with a mental health system that has been overwhelmed for years," Professor McGorry said.

"It's a big task ahead and it's not a simple solution."

Readers seeking support can also contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

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