COVID-19 has had a significant impact on mental health in Australia, with lockdowns, job scarcity, financial instability and isolation all contributing factors to people’s wellbeing. Head to Health mental health clinics and referral line were established to support those whose mental health may be suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is a collaboration between the Department of Health and all NSW and ACT Primary Health Networks (PHNs). WentWest, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network (PHN), is proud to have launched two Head to Health hubs in Western Sydney to ensure that community members of all ages and backgrounds have access to mental health support.   


Alina* is a 15-year-old girl who experiences challenges regulating her emotions, tolerating distress, and often experiences intrusive thoughts. In the past, Alina has used self-harm, including cutting, as her primary emotion regulation strategy. Recently, an incident of interpersonal conflict at school led to her self-harming on school grounds. This resulted in ambulance intervention and a presentation to the Emergency Department. The following day, Alina and her mother attended the Head to Health Hub in Parramatta, requesting support to formulate a Safety Plan to return to school. The Head to Health clinician and Alina worked together to create an achievable, strengths-based, individualised Safety Plan tailored specifically for school. Alina said that this Safety Plan “felt right”, and her mother was grateful that Head to Health could support them with an unscheduled appointment to enable Alina to return to school. Head to Health staff also provided support to Alina’s mother and connected her to appropriate support networks.  


*Name has been changed to protect the identity of this client.  

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