Headspace asks Bega Valley residents what they want from mental health service

The Headspace development team is reaching out to Bega Valley residents to help shape youth mental health services ahead of its roll out next year

Coordinaire's Andrew Gow and Alison Bradley are joined by Bega High School's leadership team at the announcement in June 2017 that Bega was to get a Headspace service.

Coordinaire's Andrew Gow and Alison Bradley are joined by Bega High School's leadership team at the announcement in June 2017 that Bega was to get a Headspace service.

A community consultation session will be held next month by the South Eastern NSW primary health network, Coordinare.

Coordinare acting CEO Andrew Gow said the session will allow for a tailored approach for the region.

“It’s never a one size fits all situation, we need to address the unique needs of a community in order to reach a successful approach,” he said. 

Consultants will discuss integration methods with local health services, gaining their perspective on the strengths, challenges, priorities and solutions unique to the Bega Valley.

But what they are particularly interested in are the opinions of the region’s younger residents. 

“We’re trying to reach the people who this service is actually for, their input and experience is really valuable to the design,” Mr Gow said. 

To do so, Coordinate is reaching out to high schools across the region, to find out what their students expect and require from Headspace. 

Bega High School’s head teacher of student welfare Mark Freedman is organising for a group of his students to meet with the consultants. 

The students will share their personal experiences with local services during a private consultation.

“Wellbeing is something that we put a lot of effort into, so I’m really happy that Headspace is on its way,” he said. 

Mr Freedman said ease of access was the most crucial element to Headspace’s design. 

“We’re hoping for a physical space to be built, but if that happens it’s likely to be in Bega,” he said. 

“While that would be really good for our students, the service needs to reach young people as far as possible, so it needs to look at how to do that without spreading itself thin.” 

Students from Eden Marine High School, Sapphire Coast Anglican College, Lumen Christi Catholic College and Bega’s TAFE campus will also be sought out for their opinions.

The community consultation will take place the the Bega Valley Civic Commemorative Centre on Friday, September 1 from 9.30am

The information will inform the requests for proposals from organisations bidding to deliver Headspace to the Bega Valley.

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