Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) will shortly commence a tender process for the headspace Geelong service at the completion of BCYF’s contract on 31 December 2021.
BCYF has advised WVPHN that, after five years as the lead agency for headspace Geelong, it will not participate in the tender process but will continue to work closely with WVPHN to ensure the smooth transfer of headspace services to a new lead agency in the first half of 2022.
WVPHN will advertise the tender provider in coming weeks and it is anticipated that a new service provider will be appointed by the end of the year.
Rowena Clift CEO WVPHN said that the organisation is focused on maintaining high quality headspace services for young people during this transition.
“WVPHN and BCYF have maintained a strong partnership over the last five years, and we are now looking forward to welcoming a new provider on board to this most important service for our Geelong youth.”
“Our core focus during this transition is to not only keep services going for Geelong’s youth but to maintain a high quality and responsive service that meets the mental health needs of young people.”
“With continued Commonwealth funding and in partnership with headspace National we are planning to have our new provider start the transition process in the new year. BCYF has committed to working with the new provider to ensure a smooth transition period.”
“Maintaining mental health services for youth is extremely important during this very disruptive time. The COVID pandemic is creating real hardships for young people with higher incidences of anxiety, isolation and depression recorded.”
Mr Sandy Morrison, BCYF CEO said BCYF has been funded since 2016 by the Commonwealth Government through the WVPHN to deliver the headspace Geelong service.
“BCYF has been very proud to be the lead agency for the headspace Geelong service for the past five years.”
“During this time, we have made a significant contribution to youth mental health in the Barwon region, delivering high quality services for young people and their families through headspace Geelong, one of the busiest headspace centres in Australia.”
“We are particularly proud of our work, in collaboration with Bellarine Community Health, in establishing a new headspace Ocean Grove satellite service and integrating the headspace Geelong services with BCYF’s youth, mental health and alcohol and other drug services, to support young people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison said BCYF will continue to work closely with WVPHN and the successful service provider over the course of the tender process and the transition period
“We know COVID-19 has impacted young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and our key focus will be on minimising any impact to service delivery during this time, to ensure young people and their families remain unaffected by the change of a new lead agent. We are committed to working with the WVPHN and the new lead agency, when appointed, in this regard.”
“As the largest youth service provider in the Barwon region, BCYF will continue to invest strongly in supporting the health and wellbeing of youth in the region. Following the transition, BCYF is actively assessing opportunities to further develop its youth services platform focusing further on the importance of addressing homelessness, drug and alcohol use, mental health, education and family reunification for young people,” Mr Morrison added.
Throughout the transition, headspace Geelong will continue to operate from 105 Yarra Street Geelong and young people aged 12-25 years can access headspace Geelong services as normal by calling 5222 6690 or completing an online referral form.
The new headspace Ocean Grove satellite which opened in August will operate as normal and will continue to be deliver services across the Bellarine.
Following the tender process, the Western Victorian PHN and BCYF will keep staff and the community updated as the transition progresses.