headspace Kununurra opens its doors

headspace Kununurra has opened its doors, providing young people, their families and friends with a holistic, culturally safe and friendly place to access support for their mental health and wellbeing.

A strong commitment to collaboration and providing a service that is culturally safe has driven the establishment of headspace Kununurra. Wunan Health, the lead agency appointed to run headspace Kununurra, has worked closely with existing service providers and the community to ensure services are coordinated and best meet the needs of local young people and their families.

headspace Kununurra is centrally located at 144 Konkerberry Drive across from White Gum Park and within walking distance from many places within the township. During the planning process, local young people were encouraged to have their say on the most suitable location for the centre and provide input into artwork and interior themes.

headspace Kununurra is a full centre and will deliver all four core streams including mental health, physical and sexual health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.

Young people aged 12 to 25, and their families and friends, can contact headspace Kununurra directly or be referred by their GP or mental health professional.

Deon Cox, Liesa Conley, Mia El Masri (headspace Manager) and Stephanie Trust (Clinical Director, Wunan Health).

Wunan Health Clinical Director, Dr Stephanie Trust, said Wunan Health is excited to be the lead agency bringing headspace to Kununurra.

“It’s a much-needed service for youth in our community, especially our Aboriginal young people.

“I see a lot of young people struggling with their social, physical and emotional health, and to have a collaborative service model supporting them is critical to helping them to reach their goals.”

WA Primary Health Alliance General Manager Commissioned Services, Mark Cockayne, said the establishment of headspace Kununurra means a locally run, managed and led organisation will be able to provide culturally appropriate and safe services for young people with mild to moderate mental health issues.

“Getting to this point has been quite a journey. Working with different traditional owner groups has been vital, along with local artists, and significant building works that has required patience and understanding due to the impact of delays due to COVID.

“This is a really exciting day for the community of the East Kimberley, and we look forward to supporting integration with other youth agencies locally.”

headspace Executive Director, First Nations Wellbeing and Engagement, Dr Lilly Brown, said headspace Kununurra is the youth-focused service that community has been asking for.

“A lot of effort has gone in to making it a welcoming and safe environment. It reflects the local community and will be an important part of supporting and facilitating intergenerational healing, particularly for First Nations young people in the East Kimberley.

“headspace is committed to the delivery of safe care to all young people that access our service. headspace Kununurra is well placed to respond to the diverse cultural needs of its community.

“Like many services in regional and remote areas, a large proportion of those accessing headspace Kununurra will be First Nations young people and their families. As a First Nations-led and locally run headspace, the centre will support those young people and families through strong approaches to social and emotional wellbeing.”

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