THE highlight of Thursday night’s Drug, Alcohol and Mental Health Expo presented by the Canning Ice Action Group was the presentation of plans for the Peel Youth Medical Services health hub.
The expo was hastily organised by Canning MP Andrew Hastie to show the services that would be accessible via the hub if it receives funding.
Mr Hastie said the expo was a valuable opportunity for service providers in drug and alcohol counselling, mental health and grief counselling network.
He said he was happy with the announcement that the Liberal government would be providing some funding toward the hub.
“We’d done all that work, so it was great as a community that we were able to convince them to provide funding,” he said.
“We just need the State Government to come alongside and commit to funding now.
“It is such an obvious investment for the Government. PYMS is doing great work, so there’s an opportunity for multiple partnerships between service providers here.”
Mr Hastie said the hub would reduce costs for service providers.
He also hopes that other regions would take on the idea and open their own health hubs.
The Labor candidate for Canning Barry Winmar attended the expo.
He said one of the concerns he had was where the funding for the health hub would come from.
“Two million is only a small part of what is required,” he said.
“It’s fine to come up with the initial funding commitment, but one thing we hear within the sector is that they need continuity of service.”
As a former police officer, Mr Winmar has seen the ice epidemic first-hand.
“There are many families dealing with the ice epidemic,” he said.
“The problem is addicts don’t come to these services until they reach breaking point.
“It’s not just about stopping drugs getting to the community, we also need to focus on addicts who can’t get their supply.
“The crime rate goes up when there’s a limited supply of drugs,” he said.
“It’s about supply and demand – the price of drugs goes up when there’s less available and addicts have to pay more.”
The expo finished with a yoga demonstration.