Ross Vasta keeps up momentum with plan to deliver more mental health services on the Bayside

As part of Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP’s ongoing plan to deliver more mental health services on the Bayside, this week he reconvened the Bayside Mental Health Working Group.

The over 20 attendees heard from Brisbane South PHN Senior HR Business Partner Melissa Binks and Head of Be Someone for Someone (Initiative of Feros Care) Joanne Winwood who presented social prescribing as an early intervention and prevention approach for youth mental health; a plan tailored to the Bayside.

Throwing his support behind this plan, Mr Vasta said the meeting addressed problematic loneliness amongst young people and how to help them to reconnect with their community through the potential of social prescribing.

“Social connections are the greatest protection against depression and are proven to reduce suicidal behaviour. Young people are the largest cohort of Australian’s experiencing problematic loneliness, so it is critical to not only be recognising this need but responding to it by delivering accessible support services,” Mr Vasta said.

“Taking urgent action to combat loneliness and social isolation amongst youth has widespread social and economic benefits for communities. It supports individuals’ mental health and quality of life and makes these communities stronger.

“Brisbane South PHN and Feros have proposed a co-designed model, seeking feedback from local mental health experts and community providers whose work extends right across our area including (but not limited to) children, men, women, young people, adults, older people, First Nations and LGBTQI+.

“With a deep understanding of what is happening and what needs to be done in our area specifically around early intervention for youth, their feedback has already played a fundamental role in formulating this plan.

“The mental health of our community cannot be underestimated and I look forward to continuing to work with Brisbane South PHN and Feros on this plan for the Bayside.”

Supporting mental health is a key priority of the Morrison Government, who made a $2.3 billion commitment to the sector as part of the recent 2021-22 Federal Budget. The Bayside Mental Health Roundtable forms part of Mr Vasta’s plan to ensure the funding included as part of the Budget will benefit the Bayside.

Do not hesitate to reach out for mental health support. Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through headspace (, Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), Lifeline (13 11 14), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health (

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Stay connected at local events during Veterans’ Health Week

VETERANS and their families in Bonner can get socially connected this Veterans’ Health Week, with local events running from Saturday, October 24 to Sunday, November 1 2020.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said almost 400 events across Australia would be run by ex-service organisations and other local veterans’ groups, both in person and virtually, to support their veteran community with creative social activities within their local restrictions.

“There’s a number of local happening in Brisbane and surrounding regions and I encourage our local veteran community to join in and help raise awareness of staying socially connected,” Mr Vasta said.

“Practicing social connection, not just in Veterans’ Health Week, is a great way to embed healthy habits into our weekly routines to help improve our overall mental health and wellbeing.

“Manly-Lota RSL sub-branch will be hosting a BBQ meet and greet this Sunday from 10am-3pm and it’s open to all veterans and their families.

“I commend all of the ex-service organisations and other veteran groups in our community who have organised events for Veterans’ Health Week this year.”

Veterans’ Health Week events being hosted around Australia over the next couple of weeks include physical activity challenges, mental health activities, workshops, skill building opportunities, a record number of online virtual events and lots of chances to make new connections and renew old ones.

For more information on attending a Veterans’ Health Week event, visit the Veterans’ Health Week page on the DVA website.

You can also call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or email

Attendees and event organisers must be aware of local state or territory coronavirus restrictions in place and ensure their event is following all coronavirus guidelines.

A full list of events in  can be found on the DVA website.

Manly-Lota RSL sub-branch is located at 184 Melville Tce, Manly

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Men’s Shed grants now open

Bonner’s local Men’s Sheds can now apply for funding as part of the latest round of the National Men’s Shed Development Program (NSDP), with priority given on applications with a strong focus on health, wellbeing and safety.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said in acknowledgement of the impact COVID-19 has had on the community, the grants would be used to help local Men’s Shed groups during their recovery and help facilitate increased connectivity amongst shedders.

“I strongly encourage the Men’s Shed groups in Bonner to apply for this grant to support the great work they already do,” Mr Vasta said.

“Now more than ever, Men’s Sheds offer men a critical avenue for social support and engagement. They have become a focal point for the Bonner community and encourage men to stay healthy, socialise and do regular activities in good company.

“This funding can help our Sheds deliver programs with a strong health, wellbeing or safety focus and I urge all local Sheds to apply.”

Men’s Sheds can apply for financial support across the following funding categories:

  • Category 1: Health, Wellbeing, and Events $8,000 maximum
  • Category 2: Shed Improvements $8,000 maximum
  • Category 3: Equipment $5,000 maximum

Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP said Men’s Sheds were vital in providing a safe space for men to talk and work on meaningful projects.

“This new funding round will provide financial support to assist in both setting up and maintaining Men’s Sheds across Australia,” Minister Hunt said

Since 2013, the Coalition Government has provided $5.4 million to support Men’s Sheds across Australia.

Applications for the current funding round close Friday 27 November. For more information, visit

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Funding available to support events during Veterans’ Health Week

Funding is now available for Ex-Service Organisations and other local community groups to host an event during Veterans’ Health Week this year to encourage veterans and their families to stay connected.

Veterans’ Health Week will be held from 24 October to 1 November 2020 and the theme is Social Connection.

Local community and ex-service organisations can apply for $720 in funding to support their local veteran community with a creative social activity, within their local restrictions.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the funding would help veterans to stay socially connected with their community through innovative event ideas such as meditation or yoga sessions, local catch-ups and creative workshops, all in-person or virtually.

“I encourage local organisations in Bonner to apply and host a Veterans’ Health Week event so we can keep our community spirits high while we face the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Vasta said.

“From fitness challenges to zoom catch-ups or even a COVID Safe catch-up, there’s many ways we can still connect and support each other.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the global coronavirus pandemic had made it difficult for many people to physically see each other and finding ways to socially connect with one another was now more important than ever, particularly for the ex-service community.

“Social connection is one of the most important aspects for your mental health and wellbeing, and as part of Veterans’ Health Week this year we are encouraging those in the ex-service community to remain socially connected, with family, friends and local community,” Mr Chester said.

“This year we invite our local organisations to come up with more innovative ideas for hosting events and create new opportunities to connect, either in person where possible or virtually.”

For more information on Veterans’ Health Week visit the Veterans’ Health Week page on the DVA website.

You can also call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or email

Applications for funding close 9 October 2020.

Applicants must be aware of local state or territory Coronavirus restrictions that are in place and ensure their event is following all Coronavirus guidelines.

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Over 70 locals from across Bonner attended a Seniors Forum in Mt Gravatt hosted by Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta on Monday.

Mr Vasta was joined by Minister for Aged Care the Hon Ken Wyatt at the event, who spoke on what the Government is doing for people in aged care and took questions from the audience. Stallholders from My Aged Care, PHN Brisbane South, Office of Fair Trading, Queensland Rail, NBN Co, and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed also took part on the day.

“I thank the Minister for coming out here today to chat with people about their aged care options and hear about their aged care experiences firsthand,” Mr Vasta said.

Minister Wyatt told attendees the Government was delivering the biggest reforms to aged care in years.

“The Coalition is investing a record $5 billion over five years for aged care. We’re delivering an extra 20,000 home care packages and an extra 13,500 residential places,” Minister Wyatt said.

Minister Wyatt also spoke on the importance of meeting the mental health needs of older Australians.

“We’re providing the largest ever single increase to mental health funding for older Australians, at over $100 million,” Minister Wyatt said. 

Minister Wyatt also set out the scope of the new Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, and asked people with family members in aged care to contact him and share their experiences dealing with the aged care system.

Paul Williams from Carindale and his father Victor thanked Mr Vasta for holding the Seniors Forum and said it had been a good opportunity to learn useful information.

“We appreciate the opportunity to meet the Minister and Department representatives. The Minister has a great depth of knowledge about the issues people face. It’s clear he’s passionate about finding new ways to improve services,” Victor said.

Muriel Mitchell from Wishart said it had been a great forum and that the Minister had explained things very well.

“I learned a lot of useful information today about residential care and home care, and how I can look after my husband at home for longer,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“I’m very grateful to Ross for holding this forum and everything he’s done for us.”

Mr Vasta thanked attendees for coming along and sharing their views with him and Minister Wyatt.

“I’m pleased to be a part of a Government that considers older Australians a top priority, and I’m proud that in the recent Budget we were able to deliver for older residents in Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

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