Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]


December 17, 2021

The Hawkesbury finally has a dedicated public mental health service for people who are feeling the strain from lockdowns and COVID threats, with the arrival of a new team as part of a free government-funded service.


Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, said Head To Health is a national COVID initiative to help people with their mental well-being and has recently started face-to-face appointments in the Hawkesbury after beginning remote operations last September.


“This is what’s called a “no wrong door” approach – you don’t need a referral from anyone, and it doesn’t matter what age you are. You might need just a few conversations, or more intense ongoing support. Head to Health is designed to support you, whatever the need,” Ms Templeman said.


“During lockdowns, the service has only been by phone, but face-to-face consultations can now be arranged thanks to Dr Philip Chen making space available in his Richmond clinic.


“It isn’t a walk-in service, and the first step is to contact Head to Health over the phone on 1800 595 212.


“I am pleased that the team has been able to operate out of Dr Chen’s medical centre.


“It must be emphasised that walk-in services won’t be available until a stand-alone site is found in the new year, and right now you will need an appointment to have a face-to-face chat.”


The Head to Health phone number operates Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 5pm.  


When calling, people are asked to enter their residential postcode and are transferred to a local, trained mental health professional, who will talk to them about their concerns and help guide them to the right mental health support for their individual needs.


Wentworth Healthcare, the provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network, has worked to establish both the Head to Health Pop Up service and the Penrith Head to Health Centre locally.


Wentworth Healthcare CEO, Ms Lizz Reay said, “Both the Hawkesbury Pop Up service and Penrith Centre have been set up to be integrated with existing mental health services in our local area, with the additional support of mental health clinicians available at both services. These clinicians can provide mental health care, through telehealth or COVID-safe face-to-face appointments, without the long waiting lists some people may experiencing to see local clinicians,” she said.


“Both services are free or anyone of any age, including children, young people and older adults, whose mental health is suffering and may have been made worse because of the current COVID-19 situation. No GP referral is needed,” said Ms Reay.


Ms Templeman thanked the PHN for continuing to find ways to improve access to mental health services and urged local residents to seek support if they needed it.


“Whether you’re trying to improve your own well-being, helping someone else, or if you just need a hand with something that’s bothering you, Head to Health is a great place to start,” Ms Templeman said.


“It’s as easy as a phone call, but that one phone call may put you on a path to feeling a lot better.”


For more details, visit where you can download a Community Flyer and FAQ fact sheet.


The Penrith Head to Health Centre is located at 111 Henry Street and is open 365 days a year, including public holidays for walk-in support, without the need of a prior appointment.


The Penrith Centre is open from 1pm to 9:30pm every day, except Tuesdays when it is open from 1pm to 5pm. The Penrith Centre will be open over the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays, for anyone experiencing emotional distress and crisis.