North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) has been joined by the Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker to announce additional funding for the Coffs Harbour headspace.
NCPHN will be delivering an extra $100,000 a year to GenHealth, the organisation that manages Coffs Harbour headspace, to build on existing headspace services. Additionally, further funding will be provided to expand their reach and bring much-needed mental health services to the youth of the Nambucca Valley.
Headspace offers a welcoming space for young people aged 12 to 25 to talk to health professionals about depression, anxiety, bullying and relationship problems, as well as other issues of concern. The centre coordinates a range of health care, offering mental health support, counselling, general health, sexual health and drug and alcohol services. Community services such as education and employment support are also available.
With the funding, NCPHN is supporting the development of headspace, the country’s preeminent youth health services.
Additionally, NCPHN’s Chief Executive Dr Vahid Saberi said that NCPHN was building on the strengths of headspace to ensure that young people in our region had easy access to holistic, multidisciplinary mental health care.
“Children living in disadvantaged families are three times more likely than those in more advantaged families to suffer from mental health disorders. Our local headspace centres reach out to outlying communities wherever possible.
“The funding for Nambucca Heads is part of NCPHN’s strategic approach and commitment to support those communities most in need,” he said.
NCPHN’s Director Mental Health Reform & Integration, Dr Megan Lawrance, said that up to now access to mental health services for young people in smaller towns had been limited. She pointed out that Headspace Coffs Harbour had done its best to reach youth in these smaller towns, but had been affected by restricted resources.
“The lack of access to mental health services for youth living in smaller towns is a known health gap. Accessing services in larger neighbouring towns is hard for young people who often have limited access to transport. As a health services commissioner, NCPHN’s role is to address such gaps and work with organisations best placed to improve the health system.
“GenHealth’s part in this work is a terrific local example of how NCPHN is working strategically to improve youth mental health services in our region,” she said.
GenHealth will work with local organisations, young people and their families, health professionals and the broader community to come up with effective solutions to the particular youth mental health needs in and around Nambucca Heads.
“Coffs Harbour headspace is a busy health hub for local youth. Supporting the Coffs centre as well as the expansion of youth services into the Nambucca Valley will make a big difference for the young people, enabling them to get the care they need close to home,” Dr Lawrance added.