Expansion of mental health services

13 Jun 2018
Expansion of mental health services

Young people in the South West will have better access to vital mental health support services with the launch of Relationships Australia WA Busselton incorporating a local headspace satellite. 

Established with the support of Forrest MP Nola Marino, through the Federal Government’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, and the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), via its Country PHN, headspace in Busselton will provide specialist early intervention mental health and well-being services for young people aged 12 to 25. 

Relationships Australia WA CEO Terri Reilly said headspace offered vital free access to a range of specialist mental health workers including GP’s, counsellors, psychologists and social workers. In addition, Relationships Australia Busselton would offer extended services with education and counselling to families, couples and individuals through several specialist programs. 

“The launch of headspace in Busselton means more young people across the South West can now access the support they need closer to home and that would not have been possible without the advocacy of Forrest MP Nola Marino,” Ms Reilly said. 

“In Bunbury we are already supporting large numbers of young people through headspace and this is growing by about 100 a year.

“The opening of a Busselton headspace satellite within our new Relationships Australia office will expand our reach and allow better regional service – helping to combat the ongoing problem of long distances and service disadvantage in the area”.

Ms Reilly said Relationships Australia worked across a range of different areas including specific services to provide mental health support to young people and their families. She welcomed the involvement of both Federal and State Government in helping to fund and address complex mental health challenges – particularly in regional areas. 

Forrest MP Nola Marino said that while aiding mental health generally was vital, it was particularly important to provide early support services to young people and their families - something best achieved when services were close by.

“We know mental health is a complex challenge with many impacts, and helping people to deal with that without the stress of having to travel long distances from home, is incredibly important,” Ms Marino said.

“Securing funding for Relationships Australia to run headspace in Busselton has been a key goal for me and something I know will have lasting benefits for the young people of the area, and their families.”

WAPHA regional manager Kate Cross said it was great to see the service officially get off the ground.

“This means young people in the lower South West now have greater access to much needed youth-friendly mental health support,” Ms Cross said.

Relationships Australia and WAPHA expected a large uptake of the Busselton service given the success of headspace Bunbury which had supported more than 3000 young people in the South West since opening in 2013. 

headspace provides support to young people who may be experiencing challenges in their day-to-day lives, which affects their mental health and wellbeing. This can be particularly difficult for young people in regional areas of Australia, and headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said it is essential these young people have the right support available to them.

headspace wants any young person going through a tough time to have access to youth-friendly mental health services, no matter where they live. Our programs and services are driven by youth participation and engagement, which ensures all of our work is appropriate and welcoming to each community’s needs across the country,” Mr Trethowan said.

“We welcome this exciting addition of a satellite service in Busselton, and look forward to seeing the community engage and rally behind it.”

Funding for headspace Bunbury and the Busselton satellite is provided by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and administered by the WA Primary Health Alliance. 

4families, a Relationships Australia program catering to families, couples and individuals, will continue to operate from the new Busselton office. 

“With the opening of Relationships Australia Busselton anyone living in the region, not just young people, will be able to access counselling, home-based family support, support for parents and grandparents, as well as workshops and seminars,” Ms Reilly said. 

“4families is just one of these programs - a free service offering holistic support to families and carers by helping to reduce family stress and helping children reach their full potential.

“Our programs support positive, respectful relationships while also dealing with the complex issues of mental health, drug addiction and other challenges experienced by Western Australian communities, families and individuals.” 

About headspace in Busselton

Relationships Australia WA is the lead agency for headspace in Busselton.

headspace is an organisation that operates across Australia, providing support, information and services to people aged 12 to 25.

They offer free access to social workers, counsellors, mental health workers and psychologists.

headspace has an extensive website where young people and their carers can read information on a wide range of issues including depression, bullying, and relationship issues. 

Visit headspace if you:

• are feeling down, stressed or worried 
• are having difficulty with something in your life 
• need help with a health issue 
• have concerns about alcohol and drugs 
• want to talk about sexual identity or relationships 
• want to discuss sexual health or find out about contraception 
• are being bullied, hurt or harassed 
• need advice about education or finding work 
• are worried about a friend or family member

Who can access this service?

This service is available to anyone aged 12 to 25, regardless of cultural background, gender, disabilities or sexual orientation.

How much does it cost?

Nothing. This service is free.

How can I access this service?

headspace in Busselton is located at Relationships Australia Busselton, Yoonderup House, 71 Kent Street, Busselton. For more information or to make an appointment call (08) 6164 0527 or visit the headspace website


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