UWA Clinical Psychology students breaking new ground in Karratha.

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Clinical psychology students from The University of Western Australia involved in the first ever rural and remote placement in the Pilbara said they’re passionate about improving mental health in remote Australia.


Megan Ansell and Phoebe Carrington-Jones are provisionally registered UWA psychology postgraduate students undergoing their training in clinical psychology.


Since March, they’ve offered face-to-face individual and group therapy programs to community members in the Karratha under the expert supervision of an experienced clinical psychologist.


The placement is a collaboration between the UWA School of Psychological Science, WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) and Karratha Central Healthcare, with the aim of encouraging mental health students and graduates to consider working in the regions.


Megan, who has an interest in trauma-related presentations and anxiety, said that she and Phoebe hope to pave the way for future psychology students to come to Karratha on placement.


“Phoebe, who has a specific interest in chronic pain management and sleep, is especially passionate about this, having grown up in regional WA,” Megan said.


“We’d also love young people from the area to gain exposure to psychology as a field and feel encouraged to pursue it as a career, given the severe shortage of mental health professionals in remote WA, especially Aboriginal psychologists.”


UWA Director Clinical Psychology Programs, Associate Professor JenevaOhan,said the first placements have broken new ground.


“It’s one way that we can help to support the mental health and wellbeing of remote-living Australians and we’ve been thrilled to help support this first trial,” Associate ProfessorOhan said.


External Clinical Supervisor Alice Stieger, a UWA Psychology alumni living and working in Geraldton, said the opportunity for clinical psychologist trainees to undertake regional placements in settings such as Karratha, was significant.

“Not only does it allow for on-the-ground, evidence-based psychological care for the local community, it provides students with the experience of regional living and working,” Dr Stieger said.


WACRH Acting Director Associate Professor Rohan Rasiah, said it was a landmark occasion to be hosting Clinical Psychology students in the Pilbara and the collaboration would assist in providing additional health workforce to the region and he was confident the Psychology Clinic would become a much-valued service to the community.


To book an appointment or for more information please get in touch with Karratha Central Healthcare on (08) 9144 6900.



Photo caption: WA Centre for Rural Health Acting Director Associate Professor Rohan Rasiah with Phoebe (centre) and Megan (right of photograph).

Media contacts: Liz Latham(UWA Media Advisor) 0433 795 509

Mia Jeffrey (WACRH Marketing and Communications Officer) 9956 0225 Mia.Jeffrey@uwa.edu.au.


About WACRH: The WA Centre for Rural Health of the University of Western Australia is one of 19 University Departments of Rural Health in Australia. The main office is based in Geraldton in the Midwest of Western Australia, with a satellite office based in Karratha in the Pilbara. It aims to improve rural, remote and Aboriginal health through research, education, student support and community service activities. For more information, visit: www.wacrh.uwa.edu.au.