Bringing services to youth
Local health organisations have welcomed an $11 million investment to extend the headspace Pilbara outreach regional trial, including two new headspace centres for Port Hedland and Karratha.
The Federal Government launched the trial in 2017 to support youth with mental health, drug and alcohol issues and vocational training in a format in which health professionals went out to young people, instead of young people going into a shopfront.
WA Primary Health Alliance regional manager Winnie Henry said the headspace Pilbara team had delivered more than 750 counselling sessions and engaged with 7000 young people and community members through face-to-face events since the trial began in 2017.
“As the outreach model was developed in the region for the region, the community have a sense of ownership and willingness to participate and utilise the service,” Ms Henry said.
The initial trial was designed by Anglicare WA, with Anglicare chief executive Mark Glasson saying the headspace Pilbara team were creative with their approach.
“We understood the needs of the community in the Pilbara were quite specific so in developing the outreach model, we moved headspace service offerings outside the four walls of the centre to places where young people needing support feel comfortable,” he said.
“These spaces include schools, youth centres and on country, essentially wherever young people meet up.”
Headspace chief executive Jason Trethowan said the outreach model had been embraced by young people.
“The passion and commitment of the headspace Pilbara team has been a driving factor, young people in the area feeling comfortable and safe in seeking help,” Mr Trethowan said.
“We’re proud to continue to support this service and are pleased that we can see it continue to evolve so young people in the community going through a tough time can get the help they need.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said headspace was a vital entry point to mental health care for young people.
“These new and expanded services will provide critical support to young people living in regional and rural Australia,” he said.
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