Lead agency announced for headspace service in Batemans Bay

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COORDINARE announced today that Relationships Australia Canberra & Region, a not-for-profit service provider, has been awarded the role of lead agency to oversee the headspace service in Batemans Bay from late 2020.

COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN announced today that Relationships Australia Canberra & Region, a not-for-profit service provider, has been awarded the role of lead agency to oversee the headspace service in Batemans Bay from late 2020.

headspace provides 12-25 year olds mental health, alcohol and other drug, employment, study and physical health services and support, as well as providing information for young people and their families and friends.

Dianne Kitcher, CEO of the South Eastern NSW PHN, said Relationships Australia was selected as the lead agency following an open tender process.

“Relationships Australia has proven successful in supporting young people with mental health issues and is the lead agency for the headspace centre in Wagga Wagga,” said Ms Kitcher.

“The organisation has also demonstrated a strong commitment to working in partnership with other services in the area, and is well placed to work with local Aboriginal communities,” she added.

Ms Kitcher confirmed the existing headspace service in Batemans Bay, set up by South Eastern NSW PHN in partnership with headspace National as an interim response to bushfires, will continue to operate until the full headspace centre is established later this year.

“Young people will continue to be able to access youth friendly, confidential mental health and wellbeing services through the current headspace service,” said Ms Kitcher.

“We will work to ensure a smooth transition for all accessing support during this period so young people continue to get the help they need without interruption,” she added.

Under the new arrangement with Relationships Australia, outreach services will also be provided to Moruya and Ulladulla (two days per week in each location), with a mobile office (coach) being set up to provide additional outreach services based on community needs and demand. This is a great innovation and addition to the regular services provided by other headspace centres.

“The coach will be fitted out with appropriate, sound-proof counselling spaces and will visit other youth services, or even work in conjunction with local schools,” said Ms Kitcher.

Ms Fiona Phillips, Member for Gilmore, applauded the announcement of the lead agency as a positive step in establishing the much-needed service.

“Young people across our region have been through a lot recently with the drought, bushfires and now COVID-19, and these experiences can certainly impact our mental health and our ability to get through these tough times,” said Ms Phillips.

“We know early intervention is key and that is why I have long advocated for a full headspace for young people in the Batemans Bay area. I am thrilled to see that one step closer today,” she added.

Alison Brook, CEO of Relationships Australia Canberra & Region, said she is delighted to be the lead agency for headspace Batemans Bay, and looks forward to increasing the organisation’s footprint in the South Coast, with a focus on mental health and wellbeing.

“We are committed to recruiting staff locally to work at headspace. As a first step, we will be undertaking an open day to provide interested local applicants with information about job opportunities at headspace and brief first round interviews for positions such as clinical lead, mental health clinician, dietician, new access coach, community engagement officer, case manager, and practice administrator,” said Ms Brook.

The open day will be held on 17 July 2020 from 10am to 4pm at the Community Centre in Batemans Bay. For more information about these vacancies, please visit https://racr.org.au/about-us/employment.

headspace Batemans Bay is one of six centres in South Eastern NSW funded by COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.