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Headspace officially opens

Officially open: from left, Youth Advisory Group member Tilly Smally, Gippsland Primary Health Network chair Dr Sinead De Gooyer, McMillan MP Russell Broadbent, Relationships Australia Victoria Gippsland manager Jo Huggins, Relationships Australia Victoria CEO Dr Andrew Bickerdike, Youth Advisory Group member Chloe Papillon and Gippsland Primary Health Network chief executive officer Amanda Proposch were thrilled to officially open Wonthaggi’s headspace centre on Thursday.

COINCIDING with Harmony Day, Wonthaggi’s headspace centre was officially launched on Thursday.
The launch was well attended and officials including McMillan MP Russell Broadbent, representatives from centre operator Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) and the centre’s consortium organisations, staff from contract manager Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) and other service providers were welcomed.
Wonthaggi’s headspace began delivering services on January 2.
It supports young people across Bass Coast and South Gippsland, including through five outposts at Youth Clinics in Wonthaggi, Foster, Leongatha, Korumburra and Cowes.
This is the second Gippsland headspace centre. Bairnsdale’s headspace has been in operation for many years.
Last year, Bairnsdale saw 900 young adults with Wonthaggi looking to provide similar support for its local youths.
In 2016, there were 3766 residents aged 15 to 24 in the Bass Coast Shire, with 3817 residents of South Gippsland aged 15 to 24 years.
“As we know, headspace targets young adults between the ages of 12 and 25. I was pleased to see that of those 900 people we saw in Bairnsdale last year, two thirds of them were in the 15 to 17 year old age group. That’s the precise age group we are looking to support,” RAV CEO Dr Andrew Bickerdike said.
“RAV is pleased to be part of this consortium and we thank the consortium partners. I’d also like to acknowledge the Youth Advisory Group, which was instrumental in setting up the centre. It is important you let young adults make decisions about the types of services we offer here.”
Two representatives of the Youth Advisory Group – Tilly Smally and Chloe Papillon – attended the launch.
Chloe said she was ecstatic to see the headspace centre finally launched in Wonthaggi.
“I feel this is an important facility for a small town. Mental illness is prominent in youth and it needs to be talked about,” she said.
“This centre is warm and welcoming and shows you are not alone. I feel privileged to have this amazing centre in my hometown.”
At Wonthaggi headspace, the services will be accessible, youth-friendly and integrated.
Confidential services will include sexual assault counselling, group work, disability support, family counselling, vocational guidance, and assistance with job seeking.
Gippsland Primary Health Network chair Dr Sinead De Gooyer was thrilled to see the centre launched.
“Early intervention is crucial and this centre has been a long time coming,” she said.
“Nine and a half years ago we opened the Youth Assist Clinic in Leongatha. A year later, we opened the clinic in Foster. From there we opened Wonthaggi, Korumburra and Phillip Island, and central to these outposts is the wonderful headspace centre in Wonthaggi. This will empower our youth to take control of their mental health.”
Greens candidate for Monash William Hornstra also attended the headspace launch.
Mr Hornstra is a 19 year old student from Moe.
“As a young person myself, I understand many of the barriers blocking young people from getting the mental health support we need. The Federal Government needs to do more for youth mental health,” he said.
“We need to look out for the early signs of mental health problems, listen carefully, be compassionate and be proactive in providing help – the earlier local intervention the better.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=28014

Posted by on Mar 26 2019. Filed under Featured. 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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