At a time when the region’s young people are recovering from the impacts of the recent bushfire disaster, the timing of headspace opening its doors in Batemans Bay could not have been better.
A significant number of young people in Australia face struggles with mental health, demonstrated in a 2015 report published by the Australian Government that found one in seven aged from four to 17 had experienced a mental health disorder in the past year.
The report also found one in 10 aged from 12 to 17 had self-harmed and one in 13 had seriously considered attempting suicide.
While the Batemans Bay headspace centre celebrated its official opening on 22 April, it has been providing young people access to youth friendly, free and confidential mental health and wellbeing services in the town since the start of the year.
The interim service was set up in response to the impacts of the 2019/20 bushfires while the full centre was being established.
Relationships Australia Canberra and Region CEO Alison Brook said the new centre was quickly becoming a hub for young people in the region.
“The feedback we are getting is that headspace is being identified as a safe place to go,” she said.
“Since we opened our doors in January, referrals have been growing steadily, demonstrating there is the need for ongoing youth-specific mental health services in the region.
“Our innovative service model will also benefit the broader region by providing much needed outreach services to young people in Moruya and Ulladulla based on community needs and demand.”
Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips said the centre was up and running thanks to an incredible and coordinated local community effort.
“There have been many people who have worked tirelessly to see the headspace vision come to life – and now the whole community can benefit from their efforts,” she said.
headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said it was critical for young people in Batemans Bay and surrounding towns to have somewhere they can go for support – particularly as the community recovered from drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and the recent floods.
“We’re incredibly proud to provide that support here at headspace and encourage any young person experiencing a tough time to get in touch for support,” he said.
READ ALSO: headspace coming to Batemans Bay by mid 2020
headspace provides a safe and confidential environment for young people to access services across physical and mental health, alcohol and other drugs support, as well as work and study assistance.
All appointments are bulk-billed which means that there will be no out-of-pocket costs – all that is needed is your Medicare card.
headspace Batemans Bay is at 1/11 Clyde Street and you can call the centre on 1800 718 383 or visit its website by clicking here.