Originally trained as a psychiatric nurse, Mr Papakotsias has worked for 27 years with Neami National, a Melbourne-based not for profit that provides community-based mental health services.
He has been based in Perth for the past four years, after previously leading the organisation from the east coast.
Since joining Neami National, Mr Papakotsias has increased the business from two staff – himself and a part-time administration role – to a workforce of more than 1,000, supporting 9,000 people across five states.
“Mr Papakotsias has demonstrated a great depth of knowledge and leadership in the field of mental health over many years and has a strong track record and professional connections across the sector.
“We firmly believe Mr Papakotsias is the right person to guide Youth Focus as we move towards our milestone next year of 25 years supporting young people in WA and look forward to this exciting new era with vigour.”
Mr Papakotsias said he was excited to join the WA organisation as demand for its services increased.
“I am a big believer in involving clients in the co-design of the services we provide so we can tailor our offerings to the needs of different local communities and the very people they are designed to help,” he said.
“Youth Focus is a wonderful organisation that does wonderful work supporting young people in WA through its free counselling, regional web counselling and suicide prevention education.
“I look forward to helping build these services even further.”
Last financial year, Youth Focus provided free counselling and assessment services to 3,678 young people in the state, and school and community education to a further 6,000.
Mr Papakotsias will start his new role in January.