Help sought as de­mand in­creases for youth men­tal health ser­vice

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By LY­DIA PEDRANA

Age: Favourite song?

I’m four and Leo is my friend.

I think I like ‘Incy Wincy Spi­der’ and that one is the river.

I think I just like rain­bow! Di­nosaur rock and I like the lol­lipop

Favourite colour? Favourite game?

game

Who is your best friend? What makes you laugh?

just funny stuff!

What makes you sad? When croc­o­diles eat me What are you afraid of? Di­nosaurs! If you could change your name, what would it be? Indi! What are you re­ally good at? Do­ing back­flips

and hand­stands

What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

Donuts!

What is your favourite fruit?

yeah... and strawberri­es

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Lily

How old is grown up?

Leon!

When I do funny stuff, Olive fruit. Ooh This big! (Lifts hand over head) like you! (points to pho­tog­ra­pher) AS the de­mand for youth men­tal health ser­vices in­creases, Headspace Dubbo is en­cour­ag­ing lo­cal busi­nesses to get be­hind the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

While they can’t pin­point why the de­mand has in­creased, one likely rea­son is the drought which has taken a ma­jor toll on the com­mu­nity and sur­round­ing ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to Com­mu­nity and Youth En­gage­ment Co­or­di­na­tor, Amy Mines.

“Ob­vi­ously, the drought has af­fected a lot of fam­i­lies and we’ve seen more young peo­ple af­fected by drought and what it’s do­ing to their fam­i­lies, so the de­mand has in­creased,” she said. “And while Headspace is a Dubbo cen­tre, be­cause we are on the doorstep to ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas, we do see fam­i­lies bring­ing their young peo­ple in from all around.”

Pro­vid­ing free, con­fi­den­tial and non-judg­men­tal sup­port to young peo­ple aged be­tween 12 and 25 years, Headspace was es­tab­lished in Dubbo in 2015.

Ms Mines said Headspace Dubbo has run pri­mar­ily on gov­ern­ment fund­ing over the past four years, but is now turn­ing to the com­mu­nity for sup­port.

But Headspace isn’t just an­other char­ity look­ing for spare change.

“If a busi­ness is look­ing to sup­port us, I guess their first ques­tion is how? Is it just money that they want? And it’s cer­tainly not just money that we are af­ter, quite of­ten we can benefit from in-kind sup­ports rather than a mon­e­tary con­tri­bu­tion,” Ms Mines told

“Just one ex­am­ple is that there could be an ac­coun­tant or fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory firm out there that would be happy to of­fer free tax re­turns for young peo­ple, but that’s just one of many dif­fer­ent ways a busi­ness could be in­volved.”

And the or­gan­i­sa­tion isn’t just look­ing to take, but rather hopes to build an on­go­ing re­la­tion­ship, ben­e­fi­cial to both par­ties.

“We cer­tainly don’t want it to be a one-sided re­la­tion­ship with lo­cal busi­nesses. Head­sapce could see what sup­port a busi­ness has in place for their staff in a men­tal health per­spec­tive, and if we could give them some men­tal health ed­u­ca­tion or put them in touch with some­one who could of­fer men­tal health first aid train­ing – we are look­ing for that kind of two-way re­la­tion­ship,” Ms Mines said.

“In the long run, we end up with a much more men­tal health ready and aware com­mu­nity.”

Ms Mines also out­lined the ex­ten­sive range of ser­vices that Headspace of­fers to our young citizens.

“We are just one of 113 cen­tres across Aus­tralia but ba­si­cally the ethos of the Headspace brand is to be a one-stop shop for young peo­ple” she said.

“We have a GP that is here once a week, we have a sex­ual health nurse, we have Cen­tre­link com­ing in and of­fer­ing ad­vice on queries around what peo­ple might be en­ti­tled to, and we have fi­nan­cial coun­sel­lors who can help youth set up a bud­get or maybe look at prob­lem gam­bling.”

They also hold men­tal health aware­ness work­shops in lo­cal schools and of­fer oneon-one on­line and tele­phone coun­selling to young peo

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