headspace Shellharbour officially opens its doors to young people

31 May 2024

headspace Shellharbour has been officially opened today, giving young people aged 12 to 25 access to youth friendly, free and confidential mental health and wellbeing services in their local area.

headspace Shellharbour was opened by The Hon. Emma McBride MP (Federal Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention), The Hon. Stephen Jones MP (Member for Whitlam), The Hon. Anna Watson MP (Member for Shellharbour) along with the young people who have been involved in the establishment of the centre.

Assistant Minister McBride said she was delighted more young people can now access a headspace service closer to home.

“We know that getting help early can reduce the impact of mental ill health. The Albanese Government is expanding the headspace network so young people have access to free, walk-in mental health care and support, close to home. Young people in Shellharbour now have a local headspace, focused on the mental health needs in their community,” Assistant Minister McBride said.

Stephen Jones MP, Member for Whitlam said, “I’m pleased headspace Shellharbour is now open so local youth in our region can access the support services they need without having to travel 30 minutes into Wollongong or 45 minutes down to Nowra.

“Our government is making significant investments in mental health support services and programs in the Budget, because we know they’re critical for young Australians. We know the headspace team do an incredible job in regional communities, and I know this new service will reduce pressure on our local health system.”

The new headspace service has been commissioned by COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN with funding from the Australian Government’s national headspace program, and will be operated by Grand Pacific Health.
headspace Shellharbour is the 160th headspace to open nationally – part of the Albanese Government’s $290 million investment to expand the headspace network.

NSW Minister for Mental Health Rose Jackson said, "Youth mental health is a whole of community issue and I am pleased headspace will open in Shellharbour and provide these services.

"It is no secret that more needs to be done to protect our youth and so this government has committed more than $900,000 per annum to meet these needs for young people presenting with severe and complex mental health needs.

“With the opening of headspace, more young people will benefit from integrated shared care arrangements between headspace and NSW specialist mental health services. This commitment reflects that by bringing multiple organisations together, we can best work to support our youth.”

Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson MP said: “The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District is working with headspace Shellharbour and Nowra to establish a team of child, adolescent and youth mental health service clinicians who will work within headspace Shellharbour.

"Together, with headspace staff, this team will provide better access to specialist care for young people 12 to 25 years with complex and severe mental health needs presenting to headspace Shellharbour. Earlier interventions, improved care pathways and smoother transitions between levels of care will improve health outcomes for young people.”

headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said headspace was delighted to work closely with COORDINARE and Grand Pacific Health to set up the service in Shellharbour.

“Nearly 2 in 5 young people in Australia aged 16 to 24 have experienced a mental health disorder in the previous year. That’s why the work happening at headspace Shellharbour, and at headspace centres across the country, is so important.

“Providing young people with a place where they can get friendly and inclusive mental health services is at the core of all we do at headspace. Young people are resilient and, with support from organisations like headspace, they can and do weather tough times to get back on track,” said Mr Trethowan.

The new headspace centre is one of seven headspace centres in South Eastern NSW commissioned by COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN.

Prudence Buist, CEO of the South Eastern NSW PHN said: “We were determined to ensure the best quality and value for money services for Shellharbour’s young people and their families. There is a clear need for youth mental health support and other headspace services in this area. Shellharbour has a rapidly growing population and with more than 4,500 young people aged 10-25, Shellharbour Local Government Area has the highest proportion of young people of any LGA in South Eastern NSW.

“Grand Pacific Health has proven success in delivering services for young people and their families in South Eastern NSW and currently operates headspace services for COORDINARE in Wollongong, Nowra, Goulburn/Yass and Bega,” said Ms Buist.

Mr Adam Phillips, Grand Pacific Health’s CEO said: “headspace Shellharbour is a five day a week service providing the four core streams of headspace services; mental health care, alcohol and other drug treatment, physical/sexual health care and vocational support services.”

headspace Shellharbour contact details:
Young people or families in the area wanting to access the new headspace service can do so by calling (02) 4225 5670 or by visiting the centre at 172 Shellharbour Road, Warilla.

Online and phone support services are also available Australia wide through eheadspace. More information is available via the headspace website.

Commissioning, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Media release, Mental health