headspace Pilbara Outreach Trial extended

Young people in the Pilbara will continue to benefit from the innovative headspace outreach service that has been making a real difference in the community.

Since it began in 2017, the unique outreach service has been working with community, schools and Indigenous health services to take counsellors and support staff into the field to where help is needed.

WA Primary Health Alliance Regional Manager, Winnie Henry, said in the first year, the headspace Pilbara team delivered over 750 individual counselling sessions and engaged with over 7000 young people and community members through face to face events.

“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 lead agency Anglicare WA, who has delivered the outreach program with support from a steering group and consortium that includes young people, their families, other service providers, local government, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and the WA Primary Health Alliance.

Anglicare WA CEO Mark Glasson said the initiative’s continuation was testament to both the tireless dedication of the headspace Pilbara team and suitability of the outreach model to deliver mental health services to the region’s young people.

Three women stand on top of a hill overlooking a city.
Since it began in 2017 the service has delivered over 300 individual counselling sessions.

“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. These spaces include schools, youth centres and on country, essentially wherever young people meet up,” Mr Glasson said.

“Over the past two years, the headspace Pilbara team has utilised creativity, innovation and enthusiasm to deliver these much-needed mental health services to the region’s youth, achieving positive outcomes with young people and winning the respect of community service providers.”

Federal Member for Durack, The Hon Melissa Price, said the unique service has established a new gateway for young people to access advice and support for mental health and wellbeing issues.

“It is fantastic to see such great collaboration between local services to provide support to young people in our region. There has been much hope and optimism for the Pilbara headspace outreach trial, and I look forward to seeing it continue to evolve and grow with the needs of the community,” Ms Price said.

headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said the outreach model has been embraced by young people in the Pilbara community.

“The passion and commitment of the headspace Pilbara team has been a driving factor in young people in the area feeling comfortable and safe in seeking help.

“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,” Mr Trethowan said.

Ongoing evaluation of the headspace Pilbara Outreach Trial will provide guidance for continuous improvement of the service.

Extension of the Trial is one part of a four-year, $11 million-dollar package announced by the Federal Government for mental health initiatives in the region.

As part of the announcement, the Federal Government also confirmed two new headspace centres for Port Hedland and Karratha.