A mental health hub located in Launceston may become a reality after federal funding was announced.
Labor Leader Bill Shorten announced $15 million for a mental health hub located near the Launceston General Hospital during a fly-in visit on Saturday.
The announcement comes after the Mental Health Council of Tasmania made a submission to the state and federal governments, calling for $20 million in funds to establish a mental health hub in Northern Tasmania.
Mental Health Council chief executive Connie Digolis said it would serve to bring all mental health services together under one roof and alleviate pressures on hospital emergency departments.
"Currently, we have a mental health service in the north of our state that is heavily focused on acute care," she said.
"This needs to change, so Tasmanians are able to access supports and services before they become so unwell or are in such distress that they have no other option than an emergency department. "
Mr Shorten did not comment on whether it was funding the MHCT's proposal in full or whether it endorsed the details made in the MHCT submission.
The MHCT's hub would offer an economical and recovery-orientated alternative to crisis care and meet the full range of mental health needs, including sub-acute and psychological care.
On Saturday, Mr Shorten announced $15 million for a 25-bed acute mental health unit.
According to the Mental Health Council of Tasmania's submission, their ideal hub would be modeled off the Italian city Trieste - which has a similar population size and demographic to Northern Tasmania - and is widely acknowledged as having one of the most effective and economical mental health care systems in the world.
While the exact location of the hub is yet to be determined, Ms Digolis said mental health needs of Northern Tasmanians needed to be addressed now.
"Whilst we certainly acknowledge the recent mental health announcements from the Tasmanian Government, we cannot overlook the immediate needs in the North of our state," she said.
"We know in the North there are less supports available - private, public and in some areas community managed services - and some of our communities are experiencing issues with access to supports that meet their needs. We know from our members about the pressure on community-managed mental health services in particular, with an increasing number of organisations struggling with wait times and referral intakes."
MHCT is calling for the federal government to fund the "bricks and mortar" of the project, with the state government to partner collaboratively with all stakeholders to manage, co-develop and deliver the service.
Mr Shorten's hub plan would include acute care, as well as facilities for group care, day programs and outreach services to enable better integration with the community. He said it would provide the best and most modern models of care.
However the exact location of Mr Shorten's health hub is also yet to be determined, but he said it would replace the current Northside Ward at the Launceston General Hospital.
Federal Opposition Health spokeswoman Julie Collins said the service was greatly needed in Launceston, and that she was very proud to be delivering this plan for the city.
Federal Liberals have not yet confirmed any funding for a hub like this.
Ms Digolis said the council's request for $20 million was reasonable, considering the unprecedented opportunity the hub presented.
"Is it really a lot of money, when we are suggesting a model of care that will alleviate significant pressure on the most expensive form of mental health intervention - acute care," she said.
"We believe $20 million dollars is actually a reasonable and relatively modest request for the federal government to invest in the bricks and mortar to deliver a truly integrated and advanced model of care in an ideal location."
Ms Digolis said evidence showed a preventative, integrated model of care such as the hub would deliver support and needs for northern Tasmanians at an earlier point in their experience would enable the best recovery.