headspace centre coming to Far West NSW

Thu Sep 29, 2016

Young people from the Far West of New South Wales are about to benefit from the Commonwealth Government’s nationally-successful headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Headquartered at Broken Hill, a new headspace centre is scheduled to open its doors in early 2017 under a $1.6 million two-year funding package, with the Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN).

The centre brings together a range of tailor-made services for young people aged from 12 – 25, including mental health and wellbeing support services, general medical support, vocational and educational services and alcohol and drug services.

The Centre is managed by Flourish Australia (formerly RichmondPRA) as the lead agency, and supported by a range of other organisations involved.

With a discreet and youth-friendly atmosphere, the centre is designed to make young people feel more comfortable when seeking support from professionals including psychologists, medical practitioners and other specialist staff.

headspace operates under a ‘no wrong door’ policy, meaning as many services as possible are offered to young people from one central location.

Flourish Australia is currently overseeing a recruitment process which will result in about 6 full-time equivalent staff work from the centre, in addition to a range of other professionals from consortium organisations and private practitioners.

Flourish Australia is in the process of recruiting a highly qualified and trained professional to head up the centre as the Clinical and Operations Manager.

The consortium members and organisations that will bring skills and experience to the centre are

  • LifeLine Broken Hill
  • Far West Local Health District
  • Neami
  • Mission Australia
  • JobLinkPlus
  • Maari Ma
  • CentaCare

Given the diversity of the Far West community, ACON will also assist Far West headspace.

“The roll-out of headspace in Far West NSW is wonderful news that should be welcomed by the entire community,” Flourish Australia CEO Pam Rutledge said.

“Young people in rural areas are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to dealing with life’s challenges, particularly when mental health issues are involved.

“headspace is all about early intervention – getting on top of mental health issues before they get out of hand.

“It’s well known that reaching out to people with mental health issues in the community is much less disruptive to people’s lives as opposed to ending up in hospital or turning to drugs and alcohol.

“Simply having someone trustworthy to talk to can make an enormous difference for young people who are struggling.”

Senior headspace Cluster Manager Tom Traae said one in four young people will have a lived experience of a mental health issue at some stage during their lives but only 25 percent of those people will seek help.

“We want to reach out to young people in the Far West and their families and break down barriers that are often around mental health,” Mr Traae said.

“We expect to support about 100 local young people every month and have capacity to support more than 1,000 young people every year.

“One of the best things about headspace is that there are no eligibility criteria for accessing services. There’s no red tape and no fuss. You don’t have to jump through hoops to get the support you need.”

Mr Traae said the service was structured to respond to any issue.

“We work with a variety of issues including relationship break-ups, depression and anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse and problems at home or with friends.

“Young people are linked to the best person for help. It’s a one-stop shop situation where you don’t have to tell your story over and over again.”

Young people wanting to make contact with Far West headspace on behalf of themselves or someone else can email headspace.brokenhill@flourishaustralia.org.au. Contact details for the office will be announced once the building site has been finalised.

There are currently 95 headspace centres across Australia with the possibility of more opening in the future.

Media enquiries: Matthew Watson 0417 691 884

About headspace

The primary focus of headspace is the mental health and wellbeing of young Australians. headspace helps 12-25 year olds going through a tough time through a national network of 95 headspace centres (soon to be 100) and online and telephone counselling services. headspace was established and funded by the Commonwealth Government of Australia in 2006. Visit headspace.org.au to find a headspace centre or access help.

Flourish Australia is a not-for-profit organisation providing mental health support programs, accommodation and hope for more than 4,000 people across 64 locations in New South Wales and south east Queensland. Advocating community-based assistance, it is a leading mental health support provider that has been in operation for more than 61 years. Visit www.flourishaustralia.org.au

The Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) is one of 31 Primary Health Networks across Australia established by the Australian Government to support frontline health services. Our focus is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of primary health care, ensuring people receive the right care in the right place at the right time. Visit www.wnswphn.org.au

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