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New lead providers appointed for headspace Townsville and headspace Mackay

Published 16 June 2022

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) is pleased to announce the appointment of Stride and North and West Remote Health (NWRH) as the new lead agencies to deliver headspace services in Townsville and Mackay respectively. NWRH will also deliver services for the Sarina and Whitsundays headspace satellite sites.


Stride is a highly experienced provider of headspace services including transitioning existing services to ensure continuity of care for young people.

NWRH has a strong track record of working with local communities including remote sites to ensure services are responsive to local needs.

Funded by the Australian Government through the Primary Health Network (PHN) program, headspace Townsville and headspace Mackay provide free, confidential health services to young people aged 12-25 with key focus areas of mental health, alcohol and other drugs, education and employment support, and physical and sexual health.

Mental illness is a significant health issue in the NQPHN region. Almost half (45 per cent) of the population aged 16–85 years will experience a mental illness at some time in their life. About 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness in any 12-month period.

NQPHN Chief Executive Officer Robin Whyte said improving access to mental health services is a priority area for NQPHN.

“One of NQPHN’s objectives is to commission high quality mental health services to improve the wellbeing of North Queenslanders,” said Ms Whyte.

“Stride and NWRH were selected as the new lead providers following a robust select tendering process, to ensure timely access to safe and high-quality mental health services for young people in the Townsville and Mackay regions.  

“Stride and NWRH will work in partnership with consortium memberships and relevant mental health and youth service providers to ensure young people are connected to a range of integrated supports so they can receive appropriate care, where and when they need it.

“We are pleased to be working with Stride, NWRH, and headspace National to ensure these important services in Townsville, Mackay, Whitsundays, and Sarina meet the needs of young people.”

Stride CEO Drikus van der Merwe said they are proud to be the new lead provider of the centre and is looking forward to helping young people in Townsville.

“Stride is excited by the opportunity to continue our long-standing work in supporting young people with their mental health,” said Mr van der Merwe.

“We look forward to working with NQPHN, the local youth reference group, consortia, and to becoming a strong partner in community mental health in Townsville”.

NWRH CEO John Cain said they are proud to be the new lead provider of the Mackay centre and satellite sites and is looking forward to helping young people in the Mackay region.

“NWRH has a long history in providing primary heath care services to northern and western Queensland communities and to have the opportunity to work with the Mackay region, NQPHN, and headspace National is an honour,” said Mr Cain.

“We look forward to improving access to health and wellbeing services in the region and providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming space for young people, their families, and friends.”

NWRH Chairperson Phil Barwick said “headspace services in the Mackay region are a vital part of primary health care to Mackay, Sarina, and the Whitsundays. We view the new arrangements as a welcome addition to meeting the health needs of these communities. 

“We are very happy to provide these mental health services through the fabulous headspace model as we continue our work to improve access to community services.”

NQPHN acknowledges the significant work undertaken by Northern Australia Primary Health Limited (NAPHL) over many years to provide headspace services for Townsville and Mackay communities.

NQPHN, the new lead providers, and NAPHL are working together to progress a planned transition process to the new provider which will commence in June 2022 to ensure a smooth transition of services. Services will continue to be available for young people and their families throughout this time.

If you, a family member, or friend would like to access headspace Townsville, Mackay, Sarina, or Whitsundays services, please see the contact details below:

  • headspace Townsville - 2/14 Sporting Drive, Thuringowa Central or (07) 4799 1799
  • headspace Mackay - Level 2, 123 Victoria Street, Mackay or (07) 4898 2299
  • headspace Whitsundays - 41 Main Street, Proserpine or (07) 4842 6760
  • headspace Sarina - 1/71 Broad Street, Sarina or (07) 4842 6750


Last updated: 16 June 2022