Barwon Health to Lead Establishment of New headspace Colac

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) is pleased to announce Barwon Health will be the lead agency for the new Commonwealth Government funded headspace Colac.

WVPHN CEO Rowena Clift said the PHN had awarded the contract to operate headspace Colac to Barwon Health as part of a consortium bringing together some of south-west Victoria’s foremost health and mental health support agencies.

“Barwon Health will work with Colac Area Health and Brophy Family and Youth Services to deliver specialised youth mental health services in the Colac and Otway area. Barwon Health will also engage with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative as part of a collaborative approach to supporting young people from all backgrounds,” Ms Clift said.

headspace Colac will be an important asset for the local community. The new centre will provide increased access to professional mental health information, services and support for the area’s young people along with their families and friends,” she said.

“Western Victoria PHN is committed to ensuring mental health services are available where they are most needed in our region. headspace Colac will offer young people support for their mental health alongside other key health and social supports.”

Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, said he was pleased that the headspace service at Colac was one step closer with the contracting of Barwon Health to deliver the service at the Colac Youth Health Hub.

“The $762,000 in funding will establish the headspace service in Colac and reinforces the Morrison Government’s strong commitment to ensuring young Australians can get information, advice, counselling or treatment, when and where they need it.”

“Along with the ongoing pressure on young people today and the substantial impacts of COVID-19, the delivery of the headspace service at Colac is vitally important in providing additional services for our youth for Colac and District, said Mr Tehan.

“I am looking forward to the opening of the service and Colac’s youth being given the support and services they need in mental health, related physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use,” Mr Tehan said.

Barwon Health Clinical Director for Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Services Associate Professor Steve Moylan said Barwon Health was excited to partner with headspace, Colac Area Health and the PHN in providing greater access to a broader range of mental health services for young people in the Colac area.

“This partnership represents a unique opportunity for young people to access a service that is integrated with an existing service close to home,” Prof Moylan said.

“The Mental Health Royal Commission identified the need for more integrated services to provide a more seamless experience for individuals and their families; this partnership is an important step forward in achieving this for the Colac community,” he said.

headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said headspace was looking forward to opening its doors in Colac.

“Never has it been more important for headspace to support the mental health of young Australians, particularly in rural communities,” Mr Trethowan said.

“Combined with headspace’s growing suite of digital services, this new site will make it easier for young people in and around Colac to get the help they need,” he said.

Colac Area Health CEO Fiona Brew said headspace Colac was a very welcome initiative for the community.

“The additional pressures during COVID-19 have had an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of everybody, particularly our youth. headspace Colac will offer a suite of supports and services specifically aimed at meeting the needs of young people in our community,” Ms Brew said.

The new headspace Colac will be the fifth headspace centre in western Victoria. Western Victoria PHN has also overseen the establishment of headspace centres in Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat and Horsham. Satellite centres are also operating in Ocean Grove and Portland.