Stressed out


Stressed out

YOUNG people in South Gippsland are battling depression and anxiety, and struggling to know where to find help.
Mental health issues are the major health concern for people aged 15-30 in South Gippsland, according to a Leongatha doctor.
Dr Sinead de Goyer of Access Youth Clinic said depression and anxiety were common mental health issues, along with substance abuse.
“I think young people today are navigating a challenging world and doing a fantastic job of it,” she said.
“The young people we are seeing through the youth clinic are often dealing with significant family and social issues and doing an amazing job.
“The greater the awareness that exists among young people and within the general community regarding mental health, the better the outcomes will be for all involved.”
A lack of understanding of mental health issues within the general community makes life tougher for sufferers.
Inadequate services and transport also present rural teens with problems in accessing help.
“Perceived issues relating to confidentiality can also become a real barrier to accessing services when, as is often the case in smaller towns, you know your doctor/counsellor/nurse in some other community context and your mum’s best friend is sitting next to you in the doctor’s waiting room,” Dr de Goyer said.
There are several services for mental health issues in Leongatha, but, Dr de Goyer said, young people often do not know where to start looking
“This is especially the case for those no longer attending school or TAFE,” she said.
Dr de Goyer names school based supports, community organisations such as Kilmany, Gippscare and Salvation Army, government funded departments, and private providers such as social workers, psychologists and counsellors.
Her Access Youth Clinic was set up in April 2010.
“It gives young people the opportunity to see a nurse and GP for any health issue including mental health concerns and if required link into local supports including psychologists, youth workers, drug and alcohol counsellors, dietitians and other allied health services,” Dr de Goyer said.
Latrobe Regional Hospital mental health director Cayte Hoppner said depression, anxiety, substance abuse, psychosis and self harming behaviour are among the main types of mental health conditions young people can suffer from.
“Teenagers experiencing mental health issues are advised to visit their GP, attend a community health centre or contact the mental health advice line or the mental health triage service,” she said.
The Latrobe Regional Hospital Mental Health Service receives many referrals from other service providers who come into contact with young people and identify concerns about their mental health.”
More money, youth facilities, transport to services and a community based ‘one stop shop’ were the priorities of a Youth Mental Health Providers Forum facilitated by South Coast Primary Care Partnership in Leongatha earlier this year.
It highlighted many issues in the youth mental health arena, including the cost of services to users, drugs, lack of support for parents and carers, and that some services are diagnosis dependent.
A survey connected with the forum found many service providers were interested in participating in a youth mental health network on a regular basis.
This survey also found that giving youth a voice, providing opportunities to be involved, access to services, partnerships between services and schools, and training would increase respect for youth.
In October, mental health organisation beyondblue is holding an anxiety and depression awareness month to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
Dr de Goyer, along with Leongatha Healthcare Services, runs Access Youth Clinic focusing on adolescents every Monday afternoon.
For information on depression or anxiety visit or
The 24 hour Victorian mental health advice line is 1300 280 737.

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Posted by SiteAdmin on Oct 26 2010. Filed under News. 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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