A new drive in, drive out youth mental health service will provide young people living in Cue, Mt Magnet, Meekatharra and Yalgoo with access to a clinical, community-based service, not previously available in the district.

The WA Primary Health Alliance, through its Country WA Primary Health Network, has commissioned Youth Focus to provide 12 to 25-year-olds in the Midwest who are at risk of or experiencing severe mental health issues with accessible, recovery focused support outside of a traditional hospital setting.

Federal Member for Durack Ms Melissa Price said there is a significant need for youth friendly, mental health services in the Murchison, particularly those using early intervention strategies.

“This new youth friendly, community based mental health service will support young people living in the Murchison with early intervention strategies that can actually delay the progression of mental illness and reduce the ongoing need for engagement adult mental health services,” Ms Price said.

Youth Focus General Manager Operations Emma Brierty said Youth Focus had engaged experienced psychologist Gary Bresland to lead Youth Severe Midwest.

“Youth Focus is proud to be at the forefront of the Youth Severe Midwest program, providing more young people and their families with vital support,” Ms Brierty said.

“Gary Bresland has worked across the Midwest as a counsellor and psychologist for 17 years, including considerable time with the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, and is well-known and ingrained in the local communities.

“His fortnightly drive-in, drive-out service is reaching young people in Meekatharra, Cue, Yalgoo and Mount Magnet where until now, youth mental health services have been limited.

“This new service will ensure crucial help and support is available to disengaged young people to deal with severe depression, anxiety, early psychosis and other triggers that weigh heavily on mental health,” Ms Brierty said.

WA Primary Health Alliance regional manager Jodie Green said this evidence based service will be underpinned by a localised, integrated service approach.

“For the first time, a youth specific mental health professional in the Murchison will be able to work alongside GPs and Aboriginal health workers to deliver evidence-based, psychological interventions to young people in a location close to home,” Ms Green said.

Young people can be referred to the program by mental health workers, GPs, Aboriginal health workers or by self/family-referral.

For more information, contact Youth Focus on 08 6266 4333 or visit https://youthfocus.com.au/get-help/talk-to-us/

This service is supported by funding from the Australian Government through the PHN Program.

ENDS

WAPHA Media Contact

Fiona Clark, 0437 563 735, fiona.clark@wapha.org.au

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