Recent tragic youth suicides and increasingly higher incidences of mental health presentations at Peel Youth Medical Service drove the realisation that young people needed a safe place where they didn’t have to tell their story multiple times in order to receive help.

Early intervention and prevention avoid escalation of health issues, and addressing the health needs of our youth underpins their ability to engage with education, training and employment and enhances their ability to contribute to our community both now and in the future.

The Peel Health Hub was born from this need as a one stop shop for the health needs of young people in the Peel. Involving a GP supported, integrated model of care, it offers a range of services including mental health, drug and alcohol services, family violence and sexual assault support, homeless services, specialist services, vocational services and family support services.

It was through strong community backing and bi-partisan support from all three levels of government that full capital funding was achieved, and the vision has now become a reality.

Funding through the Australian Government Building Our Future Fund, The Government of Western Australia Department of Health, Lotterywest, Peel Health Foundation, the City of Mandurah and community donations enabled construction to commence in 2017. Peel Development Commission provided funding for the Business Case through the Growing Our South Administration fund.

The $9.2 million Peel Health Hub was officially opened on Wednesday 12th December 2018.

The state-of-the-art facility took more than three years of planning and consultation from a variety of stakeholders to ensure the building supported the model of care by ensuring a welcoming and friendly presence as well as a seamless flow for clients and staff throughout the facility. The unique and innovative Model of Care was developed and supported through a series of collaborative workshops during 2017 with key not for profit health providers in the region.

The Peel Health Hub Development Group consisting of key co-locators in the building was formed to oversee the building development and design to ensure it supported the Model of Care and to importantly ensure that the Model of Care was agreed to and adopted by all prospective co-locators within the Peel Health Hub. MOUs between all co-locators within the Peel Health Hub were signed as a commitment to integration and collaboration and to support the Model of Care.

GP down south is proud to have led the development of the vision and construction of this purpose-built regional facility for youth in Peel.

The Peel Health Hub currently hosts Peel Youth Medical Service, headspace Mandurah, Youth Focus, Palmerston Association, Allambee Counselling, Richmond Wellbeing and Jobs South West. The Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) will join the Peel Health Hub commencing services on 8th July 2019.

Since the official opening in December 2018 all services have reported growth in client numbers and presentations with Peel Youth Medical Service reporting a doubling of presentations in the last 5 months.

The Peel Health Hub opened its doors to the public on Wednesday 17th April 2019 for an open day with an estimated 600 to 700 people attending. The success of the open day is testament to the successful integration and collaboration of all the providers within the Hub.

The open day also demonstrated the level of community support and interest in the Peel Health Hub as many young people, families and community members attended joining in the free activities and taking the opportunity to learn more about the Hub.

As we move to the future the success of the Peel Health Hub will be the success of the Model of Care and all co-locating organisations are committed to working on, reviewing and supporting this model through regular meetings, communication and evaluation.

Importantly, the Peel Health Hub is not just a building but a model of care that embraces collaboration, integration and digital health for the benefit of young people, adults and their families.

All co-locators in the facility agree to work within this model of care which will provide care-coordination, a client centred, no-wrong door policy with GP supported care. The Peel Health Hub will lead to systemic change in the delivery of complex care for young people and will lead to improvements in health and wellbeing outcomes for youth, adults and families in the Peel region.

The Peel Health Hub is a ‘One Stop Shop’ for health needs for the youth of the community. For the youth who seek support and treatment their goal is to lead a normal life in a meaningful way, part of which is to be engaged  in employment or education. However for many of them, mental health concerns, drug and alcohol issues and other health concerns are fundamental barriers to their participation. It is vital therefore, that our youth have ongoing access to holistic and integrated health services and are supported on their journey to wellness.

This article was first published in the Peel Magazine, Autumn/Winter – vol 5.1 – to read and download the full magazine, click here.