In an emergency, always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance. Ambulances are the safest way to be assessed, treated and transported to the right hospital for the care you need.

Triple zero (000) is a free call from any phone, mobile or phone box.

For less severe but still urgent situations, go to an Emergency Department.

There are 12 public hospital Emergency Departments in Northern NSW Local Health District and they are all available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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MOU signed between NNSWLHD, Healthy North Coast and MSWLHD
Published: 03 Jul 2024

Official from: 
Rose Jackson
Minister for Water, Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Youth, Minister for the North Coast


The NSW Government is today launching a partnership with Healthy North Coast, Mid North Coast Local Health District and Northern NSW Local Health District to lead the North Coast Mental Health Plan.

The Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs and Suicide Prevention Joint Regional Plan is a comprehensive effort for key mental health services in the region to work together to create better outcomes for the community.

The core priority of this partnership is to help address critical mental health issues, substance use and suicide rates in these regions.

The three organisations also launched a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that drives a ‘one health system’ approach to improve health outcomes across the North Coast.

The North Coast Mental Health Plan focuses on the NSW Government’s commitment to strengthen working relationships across all levels of the sector and reduce bureaucracy and barriers to entry for people that need primary care.

This means providing effective care and help to people with mental illness to live and recover in the community in the way that they want to.

The NSW Government is committed to delivering high quality mental health care to meet the specific needs of people living in regional and rural communities and in the 2024-25 Budget has committed a $111.8 million package of initiatives to support the people of NSW when they need it.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Rose Jackson:

“Good mental health is a priority for each and every one of us and I for one am all for partnerships that work well together to tackle drug and alcohol issues and improve mental health.

“This partnership will improve access to integrated and affordable mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and suicide prevention services is an effective way to improve help-seeking behaviour in the Mid North Coast and North Coast communities.

“This had previously been identified as a challenge across these regions due to services operating independently to each other, and multiple entry points contributing to both consumer and workforce confusion in trying to navigate the health system.

“The North Coast Mental Health Plan is a strong step to reducing barriers for local communities.”

Quotes attributable to CEO of Healthy North Coast Monika Wheeler

“We know that at times, navigating the local health system can be complex. This agreement solidifies our commitment to making local health care as user-friendly and cohesive as possible, with the ultimate goal of creating a healthier North Coast.

“We’ve already seen some incredible outputs from this partnership, including the collective development of the North Coast Mental Health Plan, which is grounded in the principles of joint service planning for mental health, suicide prevention and problematic alcohol and other drugs.

“Health services are funded by both the Commonwealth and the NSW governments. This is one of the reasons it can be so complicated. We are committed to doing what we can locally to improve the quality of health care and integration between primary and acute care services.

“This MoU complements other health partnerships that exist in the North Coast region, such as Healthy North Coast’s partnership with our six local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.”

Quotes attributable to MNCLHD Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick

“The MOU represents a commitment to working collaboratively to improve the healthcare, access, expertise and service provision to our local communities, for the health and wellbeing of all.

“Together, we can work on shared local priorities in a collective, unified and sustainable way.

The ability to look at the entire North Coast as one collaborative mental health and alcohol and other drug service health ecosystem will be of significant benefit for our consumers and their families.”

Quotes attributable to NNSWLHD Chief Executive Tracey Maisey

“A joined-up health system across the North Coast means better patient outcomes, improves the experience for patients and staff, and reduces duplication and cost.

“We look forward to also working more collaboratively to increase the care people are able to receive in their homes through virtual and in-person models, in turn reducing the need for and length of hospital admissions.”

MEDIA: Skye Tito | Minister Jackson | 0422 630 099

Pictured L-R: Peter Carter (Northern NSW LHD Board Chair), Tracey Maisey (Northern NSW LHD CEO), Dr Adrian Gilliland (Healthy North Coast Board Chair), Rose Jackson (Minister for Mental Health & North Coast), Monika Wheeler (Healthy North Coast CEO), Peter Treseder (Mid North Coast LHD Board Chair), Stewart Dowrick (Mid North Coast LHD CEO).