TAMWORTH MP Kevin Anderson has committed to continuing the push for an upgrade for one of the region's key mental health facilities.
Mr Anderson said an upgrade to the Banksia Health Unit was still high on his priorities list, especially given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic was having on the mental health of locals.
"We are continuing to work on what we need to do to keep our region moving forward," Mr Anderson said.
"I'm still looking at where we are up to with the clinical services plan for building a better Banksia and what that looks like now.
"We have had a team meeting to discuss how these projects are progressing and what we need to do to ensure they are still heading in the right direction."
Mr Anderson said the self-distancing and self-isolation measures currently in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant an upgrade for Banksia was more important than ever.
"Mental health is a significant issue in our community," he said.
"I think at a time like this, it is heightened.
"It brings me back to my message we need to reach out to those most vulnerable in our community, that we touch base just to talk to them.
"I think it's never been more prevalent to ask the question, are you OK?
"If you do know of someone who is having mental health issues, then certainly reach out and connect with them."
Mr Anderson's renewed push for an upgrade comes after the federal government announced it would contribute an additional $1.1 billion to support mental health.
The support measure is designed to help regional and outback mental health and domestic violence services provide assistance during the pandemic.
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