The Commonwealth Government has officially allocated funding for the creation of a new headspace Cowra satellite service to support local young people and their families.
Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) will be working with experienced, not-for-profit service provider, Marathon Health to design and deliver a headspace service tailored to the needs of the local community.
Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the headspace service at Cowra was part of the Federal Government’s investment of $375 million to expand and improve the headspace network in regional areas.
“It is vitally important these services are provided to address youth mental health issues, particularly in regional and rural areas and especially during the current coronavirus pandemic,” Mr McCormack said.
“I am proud to be a part of a Government which is delivering these essential services and I am pleased Cowra will soon receive this important community service.”
WNSW PHN CEO, Andrew Harvey, has praised the community of Cowra and the Federal Government on cooperating in delivering what will be an essential service for local young people.
“This really is a tremendous outcome, and I applaud the Commonwealth Government and the local community for recognising the need for headspace in Cowra and accomplishing the first important steps in bringing about what will be such a valuable service,” Mr Harvey said.
Mr Harvey added, “We know that working with Marathon Health in delivering this service will be of huge benefit for the young people of Cowra and the surrounding district, and we’re proud to be helping to support the mental health and well-being of young people in another of our region’s brilliant communities.”
Clare Knight, Marathon Health’s Regional Manager Central West, says the announcement of a stand-alone service is a testament to the community.
“The community advocated for this service, and really fought for the wellbeing of local young people. We’re proud to be able to work with the Western NSW Primary Health Network and the community to create a fit-for-purpose service,” Ms Knight said.
The first priority for Marathon Health is recruitment, ensuring that critical roles are filled so service can commence. Parallel to this will be finding an easily accessible, youth friendly office space that meets headspace National criteria.
“We know the community will be keen to have this service available as soon as possible, but we need to balance this with ensuring that we have the right staff in place so that the service is safe and appropriate to local need from the outset,” Ms Knight said.
headspace Cowra is expected to be operational within six months.
While headspace Cowra is being established, young people who need support can make appointments with headspace Bathurst for phone or in-person consultations. Digital headspace counselling services, via eheadspace.org.au, are also available.
WNSW PHN also commissions the Rural Youth Mental Health Program that operates in the Cowra district. Any young person that requires support can contact the team on 1800 236 762.