Funding boost to improve access to youth mental health services

headspace services in Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River have received a welcome funding boost from WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) as part of the Australian Government’s four-year National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement, which identifies youth mental health services as a priority area, with the aim of improving access to coordinated, multi-disciplinary treatment and care for young people aged 12 to 25.

As the lead agency operating headspace services in the South West, Relationships Australia WA CEO, Danielle Newport, said the mental health and wellbeing of young people, their families and the community are our priorities.

“Demand for our services remains high, so we are pleased to be able to direct this additional funding towards additional staff and providing extra support for young people and their family and friends.

“Young people often tell us that they would like their family and friends involved in their care, so that they understand what they are going through, so we are pleased to be able to offer them this choice.”

“Families and friends also reach out to us for advice on how to support loved ones with their mental health, so we will also have additional capacity to support them in their time of need.”

“We are very grateful for the contribution of our headspace Consortium partners and their passion and commitment to improving youth mental health. Working together we can make a real difference in the life of young people, their families and our community,” Ms Newport said.

WAPHA Executive General Manager, Mark Cockayne, said feedback shows the headspace services are highly valued by the community and are a key mental health resource for young people and their families.

“Enhancing the network recognises the increasing complexity of young people presenting to headspace services, in addition to workforce and funding pressures that have constrained service capacity in recent years.”

The additional funding will further strengthen the headspace offering across all three services based in the South West through recruitment, professional development, improving how a young person’s care is coordinated and linking them to other local supports and services.

“Community engagement will also be increased, particularly with priority populations that often face additional challenges in accessing mental health care,” Mr Cockayne said.

Relationships Australia WA is the lead agency for headspace in Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River.

headspace Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River currently have positions available including Intake Workers, Counsellors, Community Development Officers, and an Aboriginal Engagement Officer. Contract positions for Allied Health Providers and GPs are also available.

This activity has been supported by funding provided by the Australian Government under the PHN Program.