Northern Newsletter
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  • New headspace service annouced for Bega
  • Local practice in profile
  • Consumer Health Panel report
  • The latest immunisation updates
  • Links to new resources available for GPs and other health professionals

A word from our CEO: Dianne Kitcher

We were delighted to be successful in our proposal to establish a new headspace service in Bega, with the announcement being made earlier this month by the Australian Government.

COORDINARE will now be funding five headspace services across the region including Wollongong, Nowra, Queanbeyan, Goulburn and now Bega Valley. The new headspace service will provide young people living in Bega and surrounding towns with access to vital mental health services and support.

The Far South Coast region has been identified as a location in high need of specialised youth mental health services. Local GPs also identify the lack of local, accessible services for young people, particularly relating to mental health as a key need, so this announcement is certainly great news for the region.

Under the proposal, headspace Bega will become a ‘hub’ for young people in the region, however we will work with the local community to develop a flexible model which might allow for the provision of outreach services to young people in surrounding towns.

We will begin a planning phase for headspace Bega shortly. Find out more >

Meanwhile, we continue to work closely with the three providers - Grand Pacific Health (GPH), Royal Far West and Shoalhaven Family Medical Centres (SFMC) - who were recently awarded our mental health and suicide prevention contracts. Our four local Aboriginal Medical Services have also been funded to provide culturally appropriate mental health services and community capacity building for the local community.

Given that some of these services are new, there will be an establishment period, however we anticipate that most services will be available from 1 July. Specific details regarding the referral processes will be documented and made available on the HealthPathways website shortly. In the meantime, please refer to our website for additional information.

In other news, we are only days away from seeking an Expression of Interest from practices who would like to partner with us in developing more innovative approaches to models of primary care. Detailed information will be made available shortly so stay tuned!

Finally, I was delighted to chair a meeting last week between the executive management teams of Southern NSW Local Health District, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and COORDINARE. It was the first time representatives of the three organisations have met and it provided a great opportunity to discuss how we can work more collaboratively for the benefit for our shared population. A number of innovative approaches to address regional health issues were showcased, and insight into how to support consumers, patients, carers and service providers were shared, providing much fertile ground for discussion. There is certainly a strong commitment to continue to work together on regional initiatives for the benefit of South Eastern NSW, and we'll continue to keep you updated!

Dianne Kitcher