Our mental health service
Boab Health’s mental health service provides free, confidential, and safe counselling services for people living in the Kimberley region. Our team of qualified and caring mental health professionals offers a range of mental health support services based on your individual needs. We work in partnership with your GP to ensure we are adopting a holistic approach to your health and wellbeing.
Our mental health team supports young people, adults, and their families with a range of mental health concerns such as low mood, stress, depression, and anxiety. We offer a range of different short-term, evidence-based psychological supports to help improve your overall feeling of well-being. We offer a limited number of support programs for people experiencing complex or severe mental health issues. You can download our mental health brochure here.
We offer a range of support services including:
- self-help resources
- PORTS telephone and online support
- short-term psychological counselling
- Clinical care coordination for people with severe mental illness
- group programs
We provide services in Balgo, Bidyadanga, Billiluna, Broome, Dampier Peninsula communities, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kalumburu, Kununurra, Mulan, Warmun, Wyndham, and some communities in the Fitzroy Valley. Visit our locations and frequency of service map here.
> Online and telephone counselling
We may refer you to PORTS, a free and confidential online or telephone counselling service designed to assist people across Western Australia with access to free, high-quality mental health support. PORTS can help people experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms of low mood, depression, stress, anxiety, or substance use problems.
> Individual counselling
We offer short-term individual psychological support and counselling for people experiencing mild-to-moderate mental health concerns. During your initial assessment, your clinician will inform you of the number of sessions you will be eligible to receive. This is typically three to six sessions but may vary on a case-by-case basis.
> Group programs and courses
Our group programs and courses differ from group therapy. During these programs, we aim to empower you with knowledge, tools, and practical skills to help improve your mental wellbeing. Your confidentiality is assured, we won’t ask you to talk about your personal issues in our group programs.
Evidence suggests group programs can be just as effective and sometimes more effective than individual counselling. Group programs can help people feel less alone and provide an opportunity to hear from others experiencing similar issues.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course
> Clinical care coordination – severe mental illness
Our clinical care coordination program supports people with severe mental illness. We assist GPs with case management support for people experiencing complex mental illness by providing care coordination and support, including counseling.
> Child and youth services
We offer face-to-face child and youth services in Broome and Kununurra. For other locations, we may be able to offer telephone or other support. Contact us for more information.
– Youth mental health service
Our youth mental health service supports youth and young adults aged 12 to 25 years who are experiencing difficulties with their mental wellbeing, have a diagnosed mild-to-moderate mental health condition, or are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
Our services may include individual counselling, family therapy, or group programs. We may also link in with other service providers or youth-friendly resources. We strive to include family members in the young person’s care, depending on the age and consent of the young person.
– Child mental health service
Our child mental health service provides individual counselling to children aged 0-12 years and their parent(s) and/or carers. We help children and families with common concerns such as:
- Anxiety and depression
- Sleep problems
- Social and emotional issues
- Attachment difficulties
- Emotional and behavioural dysregulation
- Grief, loss, and trauma
Our child counselling services utilise age-appropriate evidence-based child-specific interventions such as play therapy, child-centred parenting support, cognitive behavioural therapy, and mindfulness. We provide a developmentally appropriate and natural way for children to communicate and express feelings and experiences in a safe and supportive environment. For more information download our child mental health service brochure.
> Location-specific services
– Youth counselling and family support service – Kununurra
Kununurra-based youth support provides clinical mental health services and family support for young people aged 11 to 18 years of age. This service supports young people (and their family/carers) experiencing, or at risk of developing, complex or severe mental health issues who would benefit from intensive support. To be eligible for this service the young person must be enrolled at a school in Kununurra.
As part of our clinical approach, we provide specialist mental health counselling, community support, care coordination and tailored therapeutic groups. This is a flexible service to provide an engaging and positive experience for young people.
– A Better Life (ABLe) Program – Wyndham
The ABLe program aims to improve the independence, participation and long-term lifetime wellbeing of people living in Wyndham who are affected by mental health issues, including drug and alcohol misuse or problems with gambling. This program includes building resilience and supporting participants to manage the impacts of their mental health issues sustainably. This program is open to people living in Wyndham who are aged 16 to 65 years.
– Community development – Balgo, Billiluna, and Mulan communities
This program supports culturally safe, community-driven strengths and resilience initiatives to promote mental health and wellbeing for people living in the remote communities of Balgo, Billiluna, and Mulan. Our mental health community development officer is based in the Balgo Aboriginal community for two weeks each month.
> Other programs
– Books on Prescription
In partnership with local Kimberley libraries, we have a range of evidence-based self-help resources available from Broome, Derby, and Kununurra public libraries. People engaged with our mental health services can access these resources through their allocated mental health professionals.
How to access our services
We require a referral from your GP or other health professional* to access the majority of our mental health counselling services. Referral forms are available here.
*We accept referrals from remote areas and child and maternal nurses, midwives, paediatricians, psychiatrists, and Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service professionals.
There are some counselling and group programs where you can self-refer or be referred to by a family member or another service. Contact our friendly Triage and Assessment team, who will be happy to talk to you about our specific program referral requirements.
More information for health professionals about how to refer to our services (including our eligibility criteria) is available here.
We do not require a GP referral for our ABLe program (Wyndham) or our Community Development program (Balgo).
What to expect after a referral is made
Once we receive your referral, we will contact you directly to schedule an appointment for an initial assessment. During this first appointment, we meet with you to gain an understanding of your current situation, challenges, and goals.
From there, we will recommend a treatment plan. The type of support we offer will depend on your individual circumstances, and the level of support required. We may offer you a place at one of our group programs or short-term counselling.
During your initial assessment, we may also provide you with resources and other support options. We will also inform you of approximate wait times to access our counselling and group programs.
Throughout your involvement with our service, we will keep your GP updated on your treatment, progress, and any further recommendations we may make.
We offer free, government-funded counselling for people living in the Kimberley who cannot access private mental health services. Our services are often in high demand, and wait times for appointments can vary depending on your location and service requirements.
If you can pay for mental health support, we ask you to consider seeking a referral to a private psychologist in the first instance. Depending on your level of cover, some private health insurers cover psychological services.
What can you expect from a counselling session?
Our mental health team is staffed by qualified and committed professionals. Our mental health team delivers individual counselling or group programs to support people with a range of mental health concerns. Services we provide include:
- Psychological counselling and support
- Goal setting and problem-solving
- Communication skills
- Self-help strategies
- Referrals or links to other relevant services
- Individual risk and safety assessment, management and planning for self-harm and suicidal ideation
Services we do not provide
- Crisis response (contact Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service – KMHDS)
- Services for people experiencing acute mental illness (e.g. experiencing mania or psychosis) (contact KMHDS)
- Counselling for complex post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, dementia, delirium, or intellectual disability.
- Case management as the primary service (contact KMHDS)
- Outreach services (except in communities) (contact KMHDS)
- Court reports, other medico-legal reports (e.g. for workers compensation), or court-mandated counselling
- Cognitive, developmental, learning disability, or neuro-psychology assessments
- Relationship or couples counselling or mediation (try Anglicare or Relationships Australia)
- Long-term/ongoing therapy
While you wait for your appointment
If your symptoms worsen, or if you have any urgent concerns, contact your regular health service. Otherwise, you may contact Boab Health Services and ask to speak to the Triage and Assessment Officer, who will assist you in accessing the most appropriate support for you.
In an emergency, always present to your local hospital or remote clinic or contact the 24-hour telephone supports below.
Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our services or programs. Call 9192 7888 and ask to speak with our Mental Health Triage and Assessment Officer.
In an emergency
Always call 000 in an emergency or go immediately to your local hospital or remote health clinic.
There is always someone available to listen. If you, or someone you know, requires urgent assistance call:
Other help and information lines
Rural Link: 1 800 552 002
Beyond Blue 24/4 Support Line: 1300 224 636
Bush Support Line (CRANA): 1800 805 391
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Helpline: 1800 200 526
Mensline Australia: 1300 789 978
QLife: 1800 184 527
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 2277
Standby Suicide Response Service: 0458 889 937
Carers WA Counselling Line: 1800 007 332
Parent Drug Information Service: 1800 653 203
Crisis Care: 1800 199 008
Other useful resources and support services
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