Port Lincoln could soon have a Headspace unit

HEADSPACE: Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service chief executive officer Carolyn Miller and manager of client services Sharon Bilney after their discussion with Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey on Friday.
HEADSPACE: Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service chief executive officer Carolyn Miller and manager of client services Sharon Bilney after their discussion with Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey on Friday.

With Headspace units already in Whyalla and Port Augusta, Port Lincoln could soon have a Headspace unit of its own to help provide additional youth mental health services in the area.

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey met with several local health organisations on Friday to understand the services available to young people and to identify any gaps to help lobby for a unit in Port Lincoln.

He said Headspace had been an “enormous success” for young people’s mental wellness in other areas of the Eyre Peninsula.

“We have had a Headspace unit in Port Augusta now for more than five years and two years ago I lobbied for and was successful in having a unit established in Whyalla,” Mr Ramsey said.

“Given its distance from other major centres, the numbers of younger people in the community and their level of need, I believe Port Lincoln is the next place.”

Headspace was established by the Australian government in 2006 and provides specialist early intervention mental health and well being services for young people between the ages of 12 and 25.

Mr Ramsey spoke with the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Services (PLAHS), Eyre Mental Health, Primary Health Care Network and West Coast Youth and Community Services to help lobby the case to Minister for Health Greg Hunt.

PLAHS chief executive officer Carolyn Miller said introducing the service to the area would benefit everyone in the community.

“We are fully supportive of the idea if they wanted to bring it to Port Lincoln,” she said.

“We are hopeful it will be culturally appropriate, but any program could only benefit the community.”

Ms Miller said it could also aid in the long term goal of helping to reduce mental illness in both the community and families.