headspace coming to Kununurra

Young people in and around Kununurra will soon be able to access youth-friendly support services, with a headspace centre expected to open within twelve months.

headspace provides 12 to 25 year olds with a one stop shop for help for mental health, physical health (including sexual health), alcohol and other drugs, or work and study support.

Federal Member for Durack, the Hon Melissa Price, said the service will deliver a much- needed boost to youth mental health support for young people in the region and is a welcome addition.

“Mental health and suicide prevention remain one of our Government’s highest priorities. We are pleased with this local investment in the wellbeing of Kununurra’s young people,” Ms Price said.

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), the operator of the state’s three Primary Health Networks (PHN), is currently undertaking significant community and stakeholder consultation as part of the commissioning process.

WAPHA General Manager Commissioned Services, Mark Cockayne, said the organisation is excited to bring a headspace centre to the East Kimberley and will be working with the local community and other key stakeholders to ensure the service will meet their needs.

“It is important that this service complements existing youth services in Kununurra and surrounding areas and brings resources together in a way that works for young people.

“We are eager to hear from local young people over the next few months, to help shape how the centre looks and feels. iyarn facilitated youth consultation sessions in December and to build on the feedback received, we would like to hear from a range of local young people and those who support them.

“Our online consultation hub, Primary Health Exchange, provides an opportunity to have your say, along with some face-to-face sessions in the next month or so. We have also reached out to Binarri-Binyja Yarrawoo to involve them in the process.

“An organisation will be selected to lead the headspace centre, and a consortium of service providers will be needed to guide and deliver its services. A youth reference group will be established to provide ongoing feedback to keep the centre working for young people,” Mr Cockayne said.

Executive Director headspace Service at headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Julia Smith, said headspace provides a safe place for young people where they can seek support for mental health, alcohol and other drugs, vocational and physical and sexual health.

“The headspace model is trusted by both young people and the broader community. At the heart of our service is ensuring we meet the evolving and unique needs of young people and those who support them and that’s why youth participation is vital to the development and delivery of the service.

“Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of young people have accessed support through headspace and developed the tools they needed to get them through challenging times and back on track.

“We’re incredibly proud to be working with the local community in the development of a new service in the East Kimberley,” Ms Smith said.

The new headspace centre is expected to open by mid-2021.

Young people aged 12 to 25 can access the service by referral from their GP, a mental health professional, or self-referral.

For more information on the headspace Kununurra project, visit our online consultation hub Primary Health Exchange.

This activity has been made possible through funding provided by the Australian Government under the PHN Program.