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Healthcare available for young community

YOUTH clinics have opened across South Gippsland to give young people better access to healthcare.

Completely confidential and free to people between the ages of 12 and 25, these clinics are located in Wonthaggi, Korumburra, Leongatha and Foster.

In Wonthaggi, the clinic is open on Tuesdays from 12pm until 5pm, and sees eight to 13 people a week.

A higher percentage of females attend the clinic, but South Coast Primary Care Partnership project coordinator Kris Cousins said they had begun to see a change in the data with new faces coming in every time.

Around 73 percent of presentations are related to mental health.

“The main issues we are seeing are for mental health problems including depression and anxiety,” she said.

“The clinic is confidential and young people do not need parental consent to attend the clinic. However, they do need consent to leave school.”

Wonthaggi’s clinic opened in February, 2013. Korumburra’s clinic has been operating for less than 12 months.

The longest running clinics are in Leongatha and Foster, which have been operating for around seven years.

Foster’s is a hospital run clinic at South Gippsland Hospital. The clinic was developed following collaboration with the Leongatha clinic and local schools.

“The service helps misguided young people access healthcare,” South Gippsland clinic’s Bonnie Patterson said.

“They have access to information about health related issues, education about drugs and alcohol, and we can refer them to other services.”

In 2016, the South Gippsland clinic had 353 presentations across the year.

South Coast Primary Care Partnership executive officer Mel Hibbins said the clinics work in conjunction with a variety of services, and are based on a model to help all young people in need.

In Bass Coast, the next step is to develop better access for young people living on Phillip Island and in the Waterline areas.

“We are tight on resources and we don’t feel it’s necessary to increase our hours in Wonthaggi right now,” Ms Hibbins said.

“However, we are considering our reach to Phillip Island and Waterline areas. Some young people in our community are not faring well, but will not attend mainstream clinics. We are aiming to ensure all young people have access to this discreet service in the clinic so they will be more comfortable accessing care when they are older.”

Healthy community: from left, Anna Close-Mewett and Sabina Ali (Bass Coast), Samantha Park (South Gippsland), Sinead De Gooyer (Leongatha) and Bonnie Patterson (South Gippsland) offer healthcare support to young people through discreet, local clinics.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21631

Posted by on Jun 14 2017. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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