Second research study for youth needs

Two jupiter ambassadors

Caring for Our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY Inc.) is seeking expressions of interest for an updated study of the mental health needs of youth in Port Stephens. This is a Rotary project (RABS 12-2021-22) which has been going three years.

We are looking not only for input on the terms of reference for such a study but also for organisations that would be interested in conducting the study.

Previous research

In 2016, COPSY commissioned a similar study from the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health at the University of Newcastle. This study can be found by clicking on the button below:

The 2016 study was considered by a round table of community leaders in January 2017 and led to COPSY making local, affordable (free) youth mental health counselling its first priority.

The jupiter counselling service

The jupiter service was initially aimed at youth aged 12-18 and this has been widened to those aged 12-21. It is an early intervention service that is inclusive of all youth. COPSY is a-political and not associated with any religious organisation.

The initial focus on youth mental health counselling has been broadened to include the promotion of wellbeing in partnership with a local gym and other joint initiatives.

Time for a new study

COPSY believes it is now time to refresh the 2016 study. Some of the possible research questions below stray into strategy. Clearly the final terms of reference and research methods will affect the cost of the study. At this stage, COPSY is open to suggestions about what will provide best value for money.

Our first thoughts about the objectives of the new study (and your ideas are sought) are:

  1. What are the remaining gaps in support of the wellbeing of young people in Port Stephens? The 2016 study identified what was available at that time and what could be done to improve services.
  2. What are the community level measures of improvement in the wellbeing of youth? The jupiter service measures improvements in the health of each of its clients. But at the time of the 2016 study data at the level of the Port Stephens LGA was scant, so the baseline it provided is not as good as we would like. What is available now?
  3. What are the implications for COPSY/jupiter of the relevant key Commonwealth (e.g. 5th National MH Suicide Prevention Plan) and NSW government (e.g. Living Well) policies and HNECC PHN Mental Health Regional Plan 2020-2025?
  4. What more could COPSY and jupiter do in working with youth, schools, GPs and with other youth services to improve the effectiveness of services for youth?
  5. What should COPSY focus on next? There are now 3 jupiter service centres in Port Stephens.
  6. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current COPSY/jupiter model compared with similar your services such as Headspace and KYDS?
  7. What can other similar organisations teach us about improving the jupiter service?

COPSY would like input from you on both possible terms of reference and also on your possible interest in undertaking the next study by the end of August.

Emails and questions should be addressed to

After your input on the possible terms of reference have been considered, an invitation to tender will be offered to those organisations capable of undertaking a new study.

John de Ridder

President, COPSY Inc. and Rotary Project Manager for 12-2021-22

0409 804 278   

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