Supporting Youth Mental Health Services in the Murchison

Supporting Youth Mental Health Services in the Murchison


June 18 2019

The high rates of mental health and suicide amongst young Australians – especially among young Indigenous Australians – are one of the most significant health concerns our nation faces. We are pleased to partner with our client Sandfire Resources and not-for-profit organisation Youth Focus to help more young people access mental health care in WA’s Murchison region.

Sandfire will provide $150,000 over the next three years to strengthen Youth Focus’ psychological care offerings through its Murchison youth severe service. We have also committed $30,000 over the three years. The program provides free counselling support for disengaged young people with severe anxiety, depression, early psychosis and other mental health illnesses.

This contribution will include the recruitment of a part-time female Aboriginal youth engagement officer, a full-time Aboriginal youth engagement officer based in Meekatharra, in addition to two clinical psychologists who visit the region each week to provide free one-on-one counselling.

Research shows that suicide rates are five times higher in Aboriginal and Indigenous communities.

Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Arthur Papakotsias said: “the tailored Murchison program uses the fundamentals of song, art and traditional Aboriginal culture to engage with young people and broach important discussions about mental health, this has proven very effective in connecting with at-risk youths.”

Sodexo Asia Pacific Mining Chief Executive Officer Paul Cooper said: “We want to change this reality in Australia and for today’s youth, and ensure there are increased levels of understanding of mental health issues not only within our workplace but also in the local communities where we operate.”

We are committed to contributing to community and partnership programs in line with our Better Tomorrow initiatives and overall mission to support quality of life.