Albury-Wodonga headspace renews commitment to schools after delivering report card

Albury-Wodonga headspace has re-affirmed its commitment to fostering school partnerships after an oversight in acknowledging the presence of three secondary schools at a recent forum.

And there were calls for schools to be invited to work with headspace at the consortium level at the youth mental health organisation’s community report card event on September 6.

Centre manager Karina Kerr said it was imperative schools and headspace contined to work positively together to enhance the wellbeing of young people.

“We recognise how important it is to have schools in the conversation about youth mental health and wellbeing,” she said.

Her comments follow a barrage of complaints to Albury-Wodonga headspace and The Border Mail after an article said there was no school representation at the forum.

The article stated that of the 63 primary schools, 30 secondary schools and more than 27,000 young people in the region, “not one student, teacher or staff member attended...”

In fact representatives from Wangaratta High School, Wodonga Senior Secondary College and Catholic College Wodonga were present for the comprehensive three-hour forum at the Albury Entertainment Centre. 

Ms Kerr apologised for the oversight and said an administrative error on the morning of the event meant a sign-in register was not made available for attendees.

She said there was no deliberate intention to offend a particular school.

Ms Kerr said headspace was committed to being transparent about its service delivery and getting input from all sectors of the community.

“We want to continue to be open and accessible to feedback,” she said.

“We want to be future focused to work with schools in a way that suits them – and young people – best.”

The headspace team delivered a detailed progress update to 60 people at the event including acknowledging the community’s generous fundraising support of more than $44,000.

The report revealed 68.1 per cent of young people present to headspace with mental health issues.

It also highlighted that accessibility is still a stumbling block in accessing the Wodonga-based service with 52.49 per cent of clients from the 3690 postcode area.

Discussions are now under way about solutions to addressing that gap.