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Attending the headspace National Forum

Youth Focus recently attended the headspace National Forum 2024: ‘One headspace – Many Communities’ in Brisbane.

Each headspace Centre is run by a lead agency – an organisation funded to operate a Centre using the headspace model.

Youth Focus is proud to be the lead agency for headspace centres in Albany, Geraldton, Midland and Northam. We provide systems, training, policies, and evaluation processes to deliver safe and effective youth mental health care that meets the needs of the local community. Importantly, this means young people and their support people have choice about where and what that support looks like.

We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to connect with the broader headspace network, and to present on a range of topics during the event between May 28 and 30.  Multiple sessions were held – from presentations, panel events, interactive workshops and more – with plenty of inspiring and innovative professionals sharing their ideas and experiences.

Youth Focus staff presented on various subject matters relating to youth mental health. Congratulations to:

  • Ella Pincus, presenting on Delving into Neurodivergence
  • Daniel Toher, presenting on Cultural Governance
  • Carl Heslop, presenting on Creative Workforce Solutions (supporting early career staff)
  • Emma Di Girolami and Katie Llewell presenting at the Integrating Work and Study and Mental Health Support in Centres
  • Jasmine Heslop, facilitating an interactive workshop Family Inclusion: It starts at the front door
  • Matt Wilson, presenting on Data Informed Care

Ella, Access Clinician at headspace Albany, said, “I felt incredibly grateful (and equally nervous) to present at the headspace forum on beautiful Meanjin Boodja!”

“I presented on the key learnings that myself, Christie Huggins & Dimitie Cook gained from co-designing and running a six-week group for neurodivergent young people with mental health challenges. The group aims to be neuro-affirmative, strength-based, connecting, and a space that encourages unmasking,” she said.

Similarly, Katie, IPS Work Pathways Coordinator at headspace Midland, said she was “grateful to be offered to opportunity to demonstrate on the national stage how we have successfully integrated IPS into our clinical teams and created a culture of ‘Shared Care’”.

Jasmine, Senior Administrator at headspace Albany, presented an interactive solutions-based workshop alongside others from headspace in reception, admin and non-clinical roles.

“Our admin team demonstrates to families that we care, that they are valued and that they matter,” she said.

“I presented our admin team’s approach to welcoming, including and valuing families as part of their young person’s mental health journey. From being a friendly face and voice at reception, to orientating families and explaining the services we offer, to removing clinical jargon and just offering them a cup of tea and a comfortable place to sit.”

Jasmine believes, “family inclusion is central to providing quality care for young people and it starts at the front door. Reception and admin staff play a key role in creating and maintaining a family inclusive culture and directly influencing family’s experience with our services.”

We’re also extending a big congratulations to the headspace Midland team, winners of the Youth Participation Initiatives Award for their outstanding headspace showcase, which highlighted our exceptional work with our Youth Reference Group and the Our Place Youth Committee.

The headspace Midland team accepting their award.

Youth Focus representatives from our headspace centres.

Katie and Emma presenting on 'Integrating Work and Study and Mental Health Support in Centres'.

Jasmine facilitating on the interactive workshop 'Family Inclusion: It starts at the front door'.

Casey Walton, Community Engagement Officer at headspace Midland said, “the Community Engagement Day brought together so many passionate individuals. Our day was filled with inspiring stories, a whirlwind of emotions and many celebratory moments, such as meeting with headspace CEO Jason Trethowan – a true honour.”

She said, “We engaged in discussions about our upcoming Youth Panel Discussion and potential Community Engagement strategies left us buzzing with ideas!”

The Youth Panel Discussion – an engaging discussion led by young voices – will be held on Thursday 25 July at the Midland Junction Arts Centre.

The event is a chance to hear fresh perspectives on various topics from panellists, and is recommended for people working in the youth, community, and mental health sectors. You can register your attendance now or submit questions for the panel to discuss.