Strategy 6: Mental Health, Wellbeing

Welcome to the WQPHN 2021-2022 Annual Report Highlights. For a printable version of the report, please click here.

Implement a strengths-based approach for those living with Mental Health or Alcohol & Drug issues and enable stepped care with a recovery focus, better coordination and integration across care domains.

The MHSPAOD Plan has been completed and is currently being socialised with key mental health consortia partners as we co-commission and collaboration towards Pave Our Way to 2025. This includes ongoing consultation opportunities for key interested parties in each community across the Western Queensland PHN. The Plan is an example of listening to the voices in communities to respond to localised needs, as we develop innovative responses with our partners to address the unique issues relating to mental health, suicide, and alcohol and drugs across the region. 

The reinvigoration of this planning process ensures the currency of the ongoing planning of key services and supports in a coordinated and integrated way, maximising existing strengths, resources and infrastructure, and highlighting the diverse needs across all areas serviced by the WQPHN. 

The plan also highlights the very unique issues that Western Queensland communities face to inform broader policy responses, as the WQPHN and their partners prioritise areas for service system development and reform to meet the requirements of individuals, families and communities.

Discussions in 2020/21 helped shape the Western Queensland 5-Year plan to improve mental health, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug, and highlighted the need for improved and targeted AOD services in Western Queensland.
The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) was commissioned to provide a greater number of locations with access to its suite of contextualised alcohol and other drug (AOD) resources to respond to community and workforce needs regarding harmful levels of substance use.
The initial plan was to provide QAIHC’s AOD training package via face-to-face delivery in a range of Western Queensland communities. However, with increasing infection numbers and COVID restrictions in late 2022 and early 2023, a growing number of small Western Queenslanders expressed concerns about QAIHC’s trainers visiting their remote towns.
With an agreed change to the plan, some of the WQPHN funds enabled QAIHC to partner with Insight to develop e-learning modules and migrate content online – with "Eyez on Ice" now hosted at the Insight website, it provides an online culturally safe resource package designed to assist health professionals and families to support people impacted by problematic substance use, particularly crystal methamphetamine (ice)
The development and launch of the Eyez on Ice e-learning modules has helped to widen the reach of this training and the associated resources in remote areas, and also offers greater training flexibility and more platform choice. QAIHC has more recently also delivered face-to-face training in Mount Isa, with key partners such as child and young person’s services staff also included. 

This year has been a productive and exciting time across both headspaces commissioned by the WQPHN - headspace Roma and headspace Mount Isa. headspace centres are funded to deliver services to young people 12-25, who are requiring a range of supports across several areas – including mental health, vocational education, sexual health, alcohol and other drug use. 
Mount Isa headspace centre has been at the forefront of engagement of the headspace Early Careers program, ensuring practitioners who are in the early phase of their career have access to quality learning, supervision and support in regional and remote headspace sites. This program ensures access to clinical staff into the future as part of a workforce development and retention strategy for headspaces in remote areas. 
headspace Mount Isa was also selected to implement the MOST program – Moderated Online Social Therapy – digital therapy support for young people going through challenging times who may need help with issues such as mental health, employment, study and training, friendship/peer support and family relationships.   Whilst delivering face to face modalities, headspace Mount Isa uses blended approaches to engage young people, including one on one therapeutic support, group work and community engagement opportunities, such as local schools in the area, as well as digital health options as required.  Mt Isa continues to demonstrate exceptional levels of community engagement and collaborations, and participation by young people in the design and delivery of services.
Roma headspace centre has passed their first year of service anniversary, with a visit by headspace National marking this occasion, and a visit by the WQPHN to celebrate the first birthday with young people in Roma and staff from the Centre.   headspace Roma have exceeded headspace National headspace’s expectations in the number of services delivered to young people in the region, evidencing strong engagement and partnerships with the local community, and youth participation, as well as a passion for delivering the much needed services to young people in Roma.
Both headspace centres have demonstrated a significant increase in Occasions of Service and number of service participants across over three years.  The difficulties presented by COVID-19 which have impacted on staffing and at times business continuity management, in conjunction with the pressing issues that increasingly impact on young peoples’ mental health, reflects the ongoing need for headspace services in both regions, and funded enhancement to outreach to outlying areas, as well as building capacity to respond to moderate to severe youth mental health issues.

Supporting client AOD support in Primary/General Practice settings

Recognising both the disproportionate harm of alcohol and substance use in the region and the key role that place-based general primary health services play in supporting Western Queenslanders to stay well, the WQPHN partnered in 2021/22 with Queensland’s Alcohol and other Drug peak body, QNADA (Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies).

The intention of the ‘QNADA Project’ is to gradually grow primary health capacity and workforce confidence to engage with people experiencing concerns related to alcohol and other drug (AOD) use.  The project builds on the previous AOD-focused capacity building provided by WQPHN (ASSIST and Insight AOD Starter Pack ) and the RACGP/ACRRM AOD trainings rolled out and promoted over the last couple of years.

The QNADA Project has supported primary health services and ACCHOs through the delivery, or continued planned provision, of activities including:

  • offering tailored onsite AOD-learning opportunities for primary health agency/clinic staff;
  • training in key evidence-based AOD assessment tools;
  • AOD development coaching and advice for individual primary health staff;
  • Formation and convening of sub-regional AOD networks strengthening the links and referral between generalist and AOD specialist health services. 

WQPHN continues with innovative community focused commissioning under the Psychosocial Support Program.
CPS Brokerage program focused on building wrap around support, continues to change lives of community members with psychosocial disabilities through purchased activities of recovery, independence, and social inclusion. In the 2021-22 financial year, CatholicCare and CentacareNQ continued as commissioned providers with 56 participants received and benefitted from CPS Brokerage Program-funded activities.
NDIS re-testing fund – RHealth was funded in 2021-22 financial period with allied health/psychological assessment assistance regarding NDIS applications. Clientele for this program include current CPS participants and community members with lived experience with psychosocial disabilities that have been ineligible for assistance through the NDIS. 15 clients benefited from this program in 21-22 financial period.
Community Services Facilitators program – Through community-based Facilitators based throughout the WQPHN region, community members including those with psychosocial disabilities have had access to local service navigation assistance to ensure clear and direct pathways to service needs. The aim of the program is to impower local communities to better navigate services and make better informed decisions around their health needs and wellbeing journeys. 249 community members engaged with the Community Services Facilitators with 102 people referred on to additional services.

The WiSE headspace telehealth e-psychiatry program is a free service launched by WQPHN in collaboration with headspace National Youth Foundation. The program was developed to ensure young people living in rural, regional and remote areas can access a psychiatrist via online consultations in a timely manner, reducing barriers such as the expense associated with access to a highly qualified clinical workforce specialising in young peoples’ mental health, and support to families and carers.
The WiSE service also supports the WQPHN region by providing secondary consultations to professionals who may require upskilling or advice, including GP’s who are treating young people with high needs and more complex presentations. This program has been successfully utilised both through young people accessing headspace, and through the secondary pathway, supporting enhanced clinical outcomes in the youth mental health area.

Telehealth consultations in delivering primary health care services including mental health initiatives increased by 7,976 occasions of service from the 2020-21 financial year to 27,656 occasions of service. 33% of consultations in primary health care were delivered by telehealth in the 2021-2022 financial year.

Our Stories

headspace Roma celebrated their first birthday on Wednesday May 4, 2022, with local crew and staff enjoying the celebrations, which included a great BBQ, cake, art workshops, games and a chill out zone. 

Deb Spanner, WQPHN's Primary Mental Health Coordinator, joined the festivities and spoke with headspace Roma manager Julianne Everson, who proudly reflected on this celebration.
“I can’t believe it’s already a year! It’s been such a pleasure being involved in the set-up of headspace in Roma and seeing the difference it makes not only to the young people involved but their families and friends in the community,” Julianne said.

headspace Roma is a FREE and confidential service that helps young people in the Maranoa Region aged 12-25 with their mental health and well-being, including physical health, alcohol and other drug services, as well as assistance with employment, education and training pathways.

There are currently 110 headspace centres across Australia.
website headspace Roma: Roma (  
Facebook: headspace Roma | Facebook


Our Stories...

headspace Roma 1st birthday

headspace Roma celebrated their first birthday on Wednesday May 4, 2022, with local crew and staff enjoying the celebrations, which included a great BBQ, cake, art workshops, games and a chill out zone.

Nukal Murra Virtual Home Monitoring

Chronic diseases are long-lasting, and while most are preventable and treatable, they cause approximately 64% of the disease burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and approximately 80% of the mortality gap.

COVID-19 and Aged Care

The steady achievers in 2021/22 have once again been the committed staff working in residential and community aged care.

Telehealth and Digital Health

Nearly 23 per cent of homes in Western Queensland have no access to the internet - we need to invest in the digital infrastructure to support access to telehealth, online supports, and community, aged care and disability services.

Healthy Ageing Aged Care Roadshow

WQPHN collaborated with Mable to visit regional communities throughout Western Queensland to discuss options for community-led aged care services and provide workforce solutions for rural and remote areas.

​WiSE Mental Health & Telehealth

WQPHN has commissioned headspace National to provide the Wellbeing in Schools Early Intervention Telepsychiatry program (WiSE).