YOUTH mental health services in Bunbury will improve when the city gains a new mental health development officer within months.
The South West Development Commission and Mental Health Commission have teamed up to jointly establish the regional youth mental health development officer position, which will be managed by Investing In Our Youth.
“The South West Development Commission and Mental Health Commission will each provide $60,000 over two years to make the position possible,” commission chief executive officer Don Punch said.
“This funding will enable the South West to have a dedicated youth mental health officer, whose job will be to focus on raising awareness of youth mental health in the region.
“The role will involve working to reduce the stigma that is sometimes associated with mental health issues, and encourage young people to seek help.
“A key focus for the officer will be promoting the support that is available.”
Mental Health Commissioner Eddie Bartnik said the partnership will enable a foundation to be laid for youth mental health services in the South West region through a capacity building, early intervention and prevention focus.
The officer, who will be based in Bunbury and is expected to be appointed in the next couple of months, will play a key role in providing information about mental health, as well as advocating for the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people.
The officer will also support the establishment of headspace, a youth mental health service which supports young people dealing with depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues.