Headspace to open in June

The headspace Katoomba satellite service is due to open in June.

Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network [NBMPHN], has announced Parramatta Mission will operate the new headspace* in Katoomba five days a week.

The exact location is yet to be confirmed, but it will be close to public transport.

Wentworth Healthcare has spent the past five months consulting with young people, schools, other service providers and Blue Mountains Council to ensure the community has input into the plans for the service.

Parramatta Mission has more than 40 years' experience in developing and implementing mental health programs and also operates headspace Penrith and Mt Druitt.

Wentworth Healthcare CEO, Lizz Reay, said they were "excited to be partnering with Parramatta Mission to deliver this vital service to young people and their families in the Upper Mountains".

Last year, it was estimated 28 per cent of children and young people aged five to 17 years living in the Mountains were at risk of, or affected by mental illness.

In December, Wentworth Healthcare co-hosted a Youth Roundtable event with Senator Marise Payne, attended by 40 community members including 16 young locals and Federal MP for Macquarie, Susan Templeman.

"We have taken the time to do extensive consultation in the area to ensure that in the development of this service local needs are being met," Ms Reay said.

"Young people have clearly told us they want a safe space ... to feel ... supported and accepted. They want ownership and the opportunity to help shape the service. We believe that with Parramatta Mission's experience operating headspace Penrith, that they are well placed to deliver this service in Katoomba."

Last week MP for Macquarie Susan Templeman told Parliament she was concerned about the delay in the roll-out and wanted it to be a full site, rather than a satellite.

Senator for Western Sydney Marise Payne said the "substantial period of consultation has helped ensure the headspace is embedded within the local community and is responsive to their needs".

"The fact is, our Government has rolled out a $76 million mental health package, which specifically includes funding for the local Primary Health Network which has enabled them to activate emergency distress and trauma counselling.

Keith Hamilton, Parramatta Mission CEO said their "years of expertise and dedicated staff will ensure the young people of Katoomba get the essential support they need".

The Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Healthcare Network have set up Bushfire Specific Psychological Therapy Services, which residents can access up to ten times at no cost, she said.

"Parramatta Mission is passionate about delivering excellent health services to its target groups who are often overlooked. We see enormous benefit in this service model for young people in building resilience, in facing the challenges of life and growing to meet their maximum potential".

  • *headspace is an early intervention mental health service for 12-25 year olds that also delivers support in the areas of physical and sexual health, assistance with alcohol and other drugs, employment and education support, as well as information and support for parents and carers.