Headspace youth service opens in southern Melbourne
Australia's first headspace youth service, to help young people with mental health, drug and alcohol problems, is opening in southern Melbourne.
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14 April 2007
Young people with mental health, drug and alcohol problems will find help and a safe haven when Australia’s first headspace service opens its doors in Highett, southern Melbourne, today.
“The $1.5 million headspace Southern Melbourne service, in the Peterson Youth Centre, is the first of 10 youth services to be up and running nationwide under the Australian Government’s headspace initiative,” the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Brett Mason, said.
“The opening of headspace Southern Melbourne is timely, particularly with today being the first day of National Youth Week.
“The new service provides a youth-friendly place in which young people can feel secure. Help is available from GPs, psychologists, youth workers, and alcohol and drug workers, as well as through education and employment programs.
“Up to $1.5 million is being provided to each of 10 communities to set up local headspace youth mental health services.
“The headspace concept is an innovative approach to mental health care. It will go a long way towards ensuring young people with complex problems get the help they need – as early as possible.
“Mental health is the number one health issue affecting young Australians today, with one in four young people aged from 12 to 25 years having a mental health problem in any 12-month period.”
The new southern Melbourne service will be run by several local agencies, led by SouthCity GP Services, a Division of General Practice.
“Ultimately, it will be set up in two community sites in Melbourne’s inner south east and bayside areas,” Senator Mason said.
“Young people can go there to ‘hang out’ in their own space – or they can get involved in leisure and social activities as well as getting any specialist medical services they may need.
“Trained youth workers will be on hand with informal guidance and support and young people will be linked to partner community workers onsite or in the community, particularly in schools and carer forums.”
Australia’s next nine headspace centres will open their doors within the next few months, followed by a further 20 to be selected later this year.
Headspace was launched in July 2006 and has received wide support from state and territory governments.
Media contact: Senator Mason’s Office – Paul McGlew 0401 991 487
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