CEO Primary Matters – 9 March 2022

Additional mental health services for Geelong

Last Friday was a significant day for mental health services in the Geelong region, with the launch of headspace Ocean Grove and the announcement of the future site of Geelong Head to Health.

On Friday morning, I was delighted to attend the official opening of headspace Ocean Grove. The event centred around our local young people with stories shared from the headspace Youth Futures Crew, a group of passionate, young mental health advocates, about what it means to have a headspace centre in the Bellarine community.

Members of Local and Federal Government also came together to celebrate the launch, including a special visit from The Honourable Greg Hunt MP, Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care who formally opened the site.

The official launch of headspace Ocean Grove means more young people across the Bellarine Peninsula will be able to access services to support mental health, physical health and alcohol and other drugs.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Stride Mental Health Limited, the transitioning provider of headspace Geelong. Stride has a demonstrated history of successfully operating headspace centres. Their track record incites strong confidence that we have an exceptional mental health service provider for our young people in Geelong.

View the media release: headspace Ocean Grove Officially Launches to Support Local Young People

Following on from the launch of headspace Ocean Grove, was the welcome announcement that the future site of the new Geelong Head to Health service will be in Station Place North Geelong. The announcement was made on site at the official launch of the Geelong Head to Health by service by Minister Hunt.

The power of lived experience was highlighted at this announcement thanks to special guest Molly O’Neill who generously shared her story of recovery and her pathway to supporting others facing similar challenges in her role with the Geelong Head to Health service.

Currently under construction, the Station Place site will be a fit-for-purpose location providing a warm and welcoming space where people in Geelong’s northern suburbs can seek professional mental health and wellbeing support from trained counsellors as well as peer support from those with lived experience of mental health issues.

Geelong Head to Health is being delivered by Neami National and the service is planning to move into Station Place later this year.

View the media release: Station Place to be the New Heart for Adult Mental Health Support in Geelong’s North

Both Geelong Head to Health and headspace Ocean Grove are among a suite of mental health support services proudly commissioned by Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) in the Geelong region.

International Women’s Day

Yesterday marked International Women’s Day, an important day commemorating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

I would like to give recognition to the many women who work in the primary health care sector across western Victoria. We celebrate the role women play in delivering and advancing primary care and promoting positive patient outcomes for our communities.

It is important to also reflect and acknowledge that gender equality is a significant determinant in healthcare development and patient outcomes.

WVPHN’s Workforce Development team has been doing some incredible work in the women’s health space. I encourage health professionals to view our Women’s Health webinar series, via our PHN Learn YouTube channel.

The series covers various women’s health topics topics, including:

Women in Community Life Awards 2022

I would like to extend my congratulations to WVPHN’s Clinical Advisor Workforce Development, Dr Bianca Forrester, who is nominated for the City of Greater Geelong’s Women in Community Life for Leadership in Times of Crisis Award, sponsored by Committee for Geelong.

Bianca facilitates Project ECHO COVID-19, a pandemic response learning network with WVPHN. The network has been instrumental in sharing up-to-date information with health professionals to help them manage COVID-related risks, while also maintaining service access, quality, safety, and continuity for patients in local communities.

Congratulations on this well-deserved nomination, Bianca and thank you to our entire Workforce Development team for their tireless work on this project.

WVPHN’s Project ECHO COVID-19 Response continues to run on a weekly basis. Find out more and register here

Immunisation Update

The 2022 influenza season is fast approaching. In preparation, I invite health professionals to attend our upcoming Immunisation Update in collaboration with North West Melbourne PHN on Tuesday 22 March.

The online information session will cover the following topics:

  • COVID-19 vaccination update including safety and efficacy
  • 2022 Influenza vaccination program
  • National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccine safety update
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) disease and prevention

Registrations are essential can be made via our event page here

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer


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