Help sought as demand increases for youth mental health service
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?
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
What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?
What is your favourite fruit?
yeah... and strawberries
What do you want to be when you grow up?
How old is grown up?
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