One year in, Headstart website proves popular

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In the 12 months since it was made available, more than 17,000 people have visited the Headstart website to find trusted, free or low cost, mental health services.

Just as impressive as that number is, so is the feedback from visitors to the website.

“I like how Headstart is region-focused and user friendly,” is one comment.

“This website is an amazing start on building a collaborative resource on mental health services. It is sorely needed,” was another.

South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN) launched Headstart in January last year.

For anyone concerned about mental health and not sure where to turn, Headstart South Western Sydney is an easy-to-use online tool to help you find the help that’s right for you.

Headstart’s comprehensive database of local services connects users with service providers or information specific to their mental health needs, location or gender identity.

Headstart provides information relevant to the local government areas of Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee. It filters services based on a person’s demographics and mental health needs.

The navigation tool includes local services for managing conditions like anxiety and/or depression, eating disorders, personality disorders, and support for challenging situations like grief and loss, domestic and family violence, and gambling concerns.

Headstart brings information about local services into one, easy-to-search platform and includes contact details and referral pathways for those services.

SWSPHN chief executive officer Keith McDonald says one of the biggest obstacles to accessing support for mental health concerns was not knowing where to get help.

“Who do you ask? What sort of treatment do you need? Are there local services available? How do you access those services? It can be overwhelming taking that first step towards finding help,” he said.

“Headstart simplifies the process of finding the right help for you. By answering a few questions, Headstart will help you navigate to the local, phone and digital mental health service, which will best meet your need.”

Headstart South Western Sydney is continuing to evolve, with work under way on creating a page for people with an intellectual disability; new pages and resources for social prescribing, including a page for ‘loneliness’ and ‘community connections’; and new support pages, including counselling and therapy, support groups, self-help, and education and training.

Check out the Headstart website at

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