Headspace Wollongong are committed to providing ongoing services to young people. Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation we will be transitioning to more flexible ways of delivering our services.
All clients will be offered online video or phone appointments (telehealth). Talk to us if you would prefer in-person appointments - we will try and work out how best to support you. Our GPs are available for in-person appointments on Mondays and Thursdays - please call for an appointment.
If you have any concerns please call us on 02 42207660 during business hours.
- Monday: 8:45am - 5:00pm
- Tuesday: 8:45am - 5:00pm
- Wednesday: 8:45am - 5:00pm
- Thursday: 8:45am - 5:00pm
- Friday: 8:45am - 5:00pm
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed
headspace Wollongong is operated by Grand Pacific Health Ltd. All headspace services are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. Administration of funding is carried out by the headspace centre’s local Primary Health Network, in this case, South Eastern NSW (Coordinare Ltd).
Nutrition screening, dietary assessment and education about food and lifestyle, also support around healthy eating strategies.
GPs can help with any physical health issues as well as issues related to sexual health, drug or alcohol use, relationship problems or feeling down or upset. Your centre may have a GP on site or links to one locally.
Workers either on site or linked to the centre who can assist you with any alcohol or other drug issue.
A group of young people who help with events and some decision making at a centre. Ask your centre about getting involved.
Mental health workers – which may include psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors and other workers – that can help if you're just not feeling yourself.
Sexual health screenings on site or links to local services.
Workers either on site or linked to the centre who can assist you with work or study opportunities.
Centres have a range of programs and activities for young people. Just ask your centre what they have on.
COVID-19 restrictions and changes to daily routines have had an impact on lives of young people across Australia. headspace Wollongong have a range of downloadable resources available for young people, their family and friends, and service providers who work across the Illawarra with young people. These resources provide helpful information and advice on coping in these challenging times.
7 Tips for a healthy headspace: Coronavirus editions.
Adjusting back to normal routines.
Good mental health and wellbeing allows you to live your life in a positive and meaningful way and cope with life’s changes and challenges. Having good mental health is a state of wellbeing where you feel able to work and study, feel connected to others, be involved in activities in your community and ‘bounce back’ when life’s changes and challenges come along.
headspace have developed 7 tips to keep good mental health: you can click on each of the strategies to download helpful information and advice. The worksheet link provides a resource for young people to develop a personalized plan.
The activities you make time for have a big impact on your headspace. When you spend time doing things you enjoy (or used to enjoy), it can give you relief from hard times, and build some fun in your life. Likewise, when you set and achieve small tasks that are important to you (such as completing homework or giving back to your community) it can help to create a sense of accomplishment and meaning.
In a nutshell, doing ‘stuff’ matters. Yet, if you’re going through a difficult time, doing anything can seem like a lot of effort. And if you’re feeling low you may lose interest in things you once enjoyed.
So, what should you do? The key is to focus on doing – even if you don’t want to or feel like it. As you set and achieve even small tasks you will learn more about yourself, build confidence and improve your wellbeing.
There’s no doubt about it, life can be hard sometimes. From relationship issues, to work and study stress, to days when we don’t feel great – we all go through stressful and emotional periods.
When that happens our coping strategies kick in – these are things that we’ve learnt over time that help us feel better. Some people naturally use ways of coping that are helpful – like journalling, meditation or speaking with friends. But for some of us, the way we cope can leave us feeling worse in the long term. We may stop doing things we enjoy, use alcohol and other drugs or disconnect from friends and family.
So, where should you start if you want to learn new ways to cope with difficult times? The important first step is to reflect on how you react to stress – taking time to understand what you do and why you do it. This builds your self-awareness. It can help you learn things about yourself that will help you handle tough times in the future. The more you understand yourself, the better you will be at applying more helpful strategies that work for you.
Healthy relationships are super important for your mental health. When you spend time with people you care about, who care about you, this can help you feel connected and supported.
Yet, we know relationships aren’t always easy. Starting new relationships can often be scary. And if you’re experiencing mental health difficulties you may feel like disconnecting from people, rather than reaching out.
But here’s the thing – the more you work on your relationships, the stronger they get. Strong relationships can give you support when you need it and provide a sense of belonging and community. When you spend time connecting with and supporting others, your wellbeing improves, too!
When you think of improving your mental health, you may not think about changing the food you eat, but there is a strong link between what we eat and how we feel!
We know an unhealthy diet can be associated with increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, but now we are seeing a healthy diet (with a variety of fruit, veggies, nuts and whole grains) can actually improve mental health.
This is a pretty new and exciting area of research. In fact, two recent studies investigated whether healthy food could reduce depression symptoms. And the results were clear. People who ate a healthier diet improved their depression symptoms more than people who focused on only social support.
We get it – when you’re feeling stressed or low you probably feel more like watching TV than being active. Yet it’s often that the moment you need it most is when you least feel like moving your body.
You may know that exercise is good for your physical health, but what you may not know is that it also improves your wellbeing too!
And exercising doesn’t have to be running on the treadmill. It’s really anything that gets your body moving and increases your heart rate. Activities like walking, playing team sports with friends, dancing or swimming will all help you release stress and give you a better chance at improving your mood.
Quality sleep is like a mental health superpower.
When you get enough sleep it’s easier to manage your emotions, you have more patience and you deal with stressful situations better. Also, you reduce your risk of mental health challenges in the future!
Yet, it’s so common to struggle to sleep. That’s because your sleep can be impacted by many things – from the food you eat to feeling worried or anxious and even using your phone before bed.
So… how much is enough? If you’re aged between 12-17 then 8-10 hours sleep is ideal, while 18-25 year olds should try to get 7-9 hours.
Alcohol and other drugs can seem like a normal part of life for many young people. We totally get it – it can be fun, lift your mood and boost your confidence.
But the issue is that these substances can also seriously harm your headspace. When the high wears off, the after-effect can leave you feeling worse than before. Anxiety can increase, your mood can drop and any difficulties with family or friends can be harder to manage.
If you’ve been struggling, it’s a good idea to look at whether your alcohol or drug use is playing a part.
In fact, cutting back on alcohol and other drugs can be one of the most important things you can do for your headspace – but it isn’t always easy. If you’re having trouble quitting, or you want some help or advice, you should speak to your doctor or contact us here at headspace.
headspace Wollongong covers a geographic area from Helensburgh in the north to Kiama in the south. We receive a large number of requests from the community, yet we have very limited resources. Therefore, we must prioritise requests according to the areas of greatest need, staff availability, demand and fair and equitable coverage of the local community.
Priority is given to the following local organisations:
- Schools & education providers (eg. TAFE, University)
- Youth organisations
- Our partner organisations
- Community organisations, charities and not-for-profits with a youth and/or mental health focus
- Family & Carer support organisations
Requests from other types of organisations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
We are unfortunately not able to fulfil all requests. Allowing at least 10 weeks notice will increase the likelihood of us being able to fulfil your request.
Depending on what type of organisation you are, our community activities are mostly free. Some requests may incur a fee to cover part or all of our costs due to the nature of the activity (for example, requests from commercial organisations, weekend and evening requests, specialised content etc).
Once you have submitted your form our team will review the request and aim to respond within 10 working days.
To request a presentation, please fill out the form here>>https://form.jotform.com/200068022439043
If you are looking for some resources to use with young people focusing on mental health and wellbeing, try our 7 tips for a healthy headspace drop down item, for downloadable resources.
headspace Wollongong, Nowra, Bega and Goulburn now offer telehealth sessions via a special platform called “Attend Anywhere”. We think it gives you the experience most like your normal face-to-face sessions with a clinician. It’s encryption levels mean your conversations stay private, and it allows you to wait in a “waiting room”, under the supervision of our admin team, until your clinician is ready to see you.
WHAT DO I NEED?
- A good connection to the internet. If you can watch a video online (e.g. YouTube) you can make a video call
- One of the following browsers:
Google Chrome web browser on a desktop or laptop, or on an Android tablet or smartphone
Safari web browser on an Apple iMac, MacBook, iPad or iPhone
- Web-camera, speakers, and microphone already built into laptops or mobile devices
How much internet data will I use?
You don’t use any data while waiting for a clinician to join you.
An Attend Anywhere video call uses a similar amount of data to Skype® or FaceTime®.
You have your own private video room that only authorised clinicians can enter. Video calls are secure; your privacy is protected.
Your telehealth service will not be recorded by us. We ask you to also agree not to make recordings of our sessions and not to use materials from our sessions elsewhere. If you need further information on how to protect your privacy when using technology, see the booklet “Protecting Yourself Online: what everyone needs to know”
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
Your clinician is available to answer all your questions and answer any concerns. Together, you will work out a plan that best suits you. If you wish to speak to someone else about your experience, please call your local headspace centre and ask to speak to the centre manager.
HOW DO I USE ATTEND ANYWHERE?
- Go to https://www.gph.org.au/video a little before the prearranged time for your appointment and select the headspace waiting room (red armchair logo).
- On this web page, click Start video call button and follow the instructions
- Wait in your own private video room
- Your clinician sees you arrive in the waiting area and joins you in your video room when they are ready
If you would like to know more, here’s a short video: https://youtu.be/o-64JK4nLuE
WHAT IF MY CONNECTION DROPS OUT?
- If you lose connection, firstly, wait 30 seconds and try to reconnect using the Refresh button.
- If your video link drops out, or if you intentionally disconnect the videoconference, or leave the room where the videoconference hardware is set up, we will immediately contact you via your nominated contact number. If we cannot contact you, then we will activate your Contingency Plan.
What is my Contingency Plan?
At your first session, you and your clinician will work out a telehealth safety plan. This will be reviewed at the beginning of each session. Your plan will include nominated emergency contacts and/or local and emergency services.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY SESSION?
It can be easy to think of your Telehealth session as a less formal “catch-up” and think it doesn’t need much preparation. To get the best from your session, try to:
1) Find a quiet space. Put away your pets, find a room where you think you won’t be overheard. Try using headphones with an in-built microphones, if you can. Most mobile phones come with these.
2) Bring a notepad and pen. Your clinician won’t be able to give you a piece of paper to take home with you so you might need to jot some things down.
3) Have your phone close to you but turn it onto silent and close your email programs. It is important that your clinician can call you, if something should happen to your Telehealth connection, but it’s also important to try to minimise distractions.
4) Give yourself permission to focus. In these busy times there are lots of things calling for our attention. Give yourself permission to be fully present with your clinician for your session.
5) Your telehealth session with your clinican will not take any longer than an in-person session at our centre would, except you don’t have to spend time travelling to us.
Parking: There is timed on-street parking available on Atchison Street and surrounding streets. For more information on parking in Wollongong City Centre please click here>>https://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/about/parking-transport/parking-in-the-city-centre
Public transport: We're a short walk from Wollongong train station and the free bus (Crown St bus stops). Plan your trip here.
This is your headspace welcome pack. We’ve created this pack to introduce you to our service and direct you to where you can find further information and supports.
If you ever need to turn to headspace Wollongong for some help and support, there are a number of friendly staff members you may come in contact with.
To support and lead the team at headspace Wollongong…
- Service Manager – Lynn firstname.lastname@example.org
- Practice Coordinator – Sarah email@example.com
- Clinical Lead – Luke firstname.lastname@example.org and Kye email@example.com
Our friendly reception and administration staff…
You might need to make a Doctor’s (GP) appointment for check-up or to get a Mental Health Treatment Plan. We have both male and female GP’s available…
- Dr. Meredith (Monday)
- Dr. John (Thursday)
If you’re contacting headspace Wollongong for some mental health support, the first step is to participate in a brief phone chat. This is called ‘intake’ and it’s where we are able to determine what kind of support you need. During this call, you’ll be most likely chatting with…
- Intake Clinicians
After this, you might like to make an appointment to come in and speak to someone face-to-face. At headspace Wollongong, we have friendly, skilled and professional staff who can offer services for a range of needs...
- Psychiatrist – Dr Muul
- Family Clinician – Anna
- Youth Counsellor – Josh
- Youth Worker/Counsellor – Vanessa
- Mental Health Clinicians
Other services we offer at headspace Wollongong…
- ISLDH Drug and Alcohol Counsellor – Allison
- Education Support Clinician – Alissa
We can also connect you with employment and training services locally at organisations such as:
- The Personnel Group.
If you want to contact us to organise a school presentation, program or community event. To help engage our community by increasing mental health literacy and help-seeking practices…
- Community Engagement – Amanda
If you are in need of a check-up, or if you need to get a mental health treatment plan, the GP's at headspace Wollongong can help. Our youth friendly GP’s can also help you with:
- General and physical health
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Sexual health
- Alcohol and other drugs
- Preventative health
Our GP services will be bulk billed (which means you don't have to pay!), so bring your Medicare card when you visit.
For more information about how to get a Medicare card:
For a visit to one of our GP’s, simply make an appointment at headspace Wollongong reception or call (02) 4220 7600.
- Dr. Meredith Williams can see you on Mondays 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
- Dr. John Watson can see you on Thursdays 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
headspace Wollongong is not an acute or crisis mental health service. If you (or a young person you are supporting) is in need of immediate support, please call the Mental Health Line (1800 011 511), Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800). In an emergency, contact 000 immediately.
For young people and their families:
Contact headspace Wollongong on 4220 7660 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
If you're making an appointment for a family member or a friend, please note that the young person needs to be aware of and consent to the referral and be willing to meet with a member from the headspace Wollongong team.
GPs, Allied Health Professionals, community-based agencies and educational institutions can all refer young people to headspace Wollongong by phone, fax or post using our referral form. Please note that we cannot accept referral forms over email.
General Practitioners should include a Mental Health Care Plan (if appropriate) for the young person.
Are you interested in fundraising for or making a donation to headspace Wollongong?
Your generous support helps us to provide vital mental health and wellbeing support, information and services to young people and their families across the Illawarra.
Set up your own fundraising page:
Are you setting a personal challenge, entering a fundraising event or celebrating a special occasion?
If you would like to fundraise for headspace Wollongong, head to GoFundraise to set up your fundraising page:
Donate online using the secure platform of GiveNow:
Donate by direct deposit:
Account Name: Grand Pacific Health
Account number: 606303831
Bank: National Australia Bank
Please use a reference code of 66003 with your deposit so the funds are allocated correctly.
Donate by cheque:
Cheques can be made out to Grand Pacific Health and mailed to Attn: Finance, Grand Pacific Health, PO Box 1198, South Coast MC NSW 2521.
Please email email@example.com to advise us of your contact details when making a donation by direct deposit or cheque, and include hsWgong or 66003 as a message/reference with your donation.
Thank you for your support!
Youth Reference Group (YRG)
The Youth Reference Group (YRG) guides what we do here at headspace Wollongong, making sure we're on the right track to provide a service that is relevant to young people in the Illawarra.
Our YRG is made up of enthusiastic young people aged 16-25 years who share their opinions and have their say on what we do and how we do it.
The role of the YRG is varied and includes a range of duties, from participating in regular meetings and online communications, to helping to plan youth events, representing headspace Wollongong at community events and raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing in our community.
Applications for the Youth Reference Group open in November at the end of each year, for the following year's group. If you would like to be notified when our YRG applications open, please contact headspace Wollongong 02 4220 7660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraising volunteers/Supporters of headspace Wollongong
Not sure if you can make a regular volunteering commitment but still want to help out? Register as a supporter and we'll give you a call when opportunities arise.
Our fundraising volunteers help us raise funds which support our vital work in raising awareness and understanding about mental health, and breaking down barriers to seeking help.
Opportunities may include volunteer barbeques, cloak room/bag minding services at events, and other events as they arise.
(Please note that this is not a mental health awareness role. Applications for our Youth Reference Group generally open in Nov-Dec of each year)
If you are 15 years or older, you can apply to have your own Medicare card. Here’s what to do...
You will need to fill out the form called Application to copy or transfer from one Medicare card to another and bring two forms of identification with you (like a birth certificate, student card with photo ID, health care card, driver's licence, passport, or a bank statement if it has your current adress on it). The form is available online or from a Medicare office.
You will be applying to transfer to a new Medicare card (i.e. to be moved from the card you are now listed on to another new card of your own).
Alternatively, you can also choose to stay on your parents'/guardians' card and have a copy made to keep with you.
You will need the number of the Medicare card you are currently listed on to complete the form. This is most probably your parents’ or guardians’ Medicare card.
Take your original identification and your application form to your nearest Medicare office.
- Wollongong: 43 Burelli Street
- Warrawong: 43-65 Cowper Street
- Shellharbour: Lake Entrance Road
Once you have lodged your application for a Medicare card at a Medicare office, your own card with your own number will be sent to you. If you would prefer, you can make arrangements with Medicare to pick up your card at the office.