General News Sector News — 23 September 2015

“LIFE’S complicated for young people today,” said University of Southern Queensland psychology Professor Lorelle Burton.

She was one of many distinguished guests and community members at today’s launch of headspace Toowoomba.

The centre, at 1 Snell Street, will give 12-25 year olds general and mental health support.

“We aim to be the preferred place of care for young people. A place they can access advice and support access advice and support. A place they can get information on mental and physical health, education and employment in a one-stop location,” Ms Burton, who is also independent chair of headspace, said.

“Technology has broadened our lives but also challenges them. There are many factors to consider in how this affects the youth of today like extra pressures and how we communicate as human beings.”

The headspace model is based on early intervention with the knowledge that adolescence and early childhood is a critical time in a person’s life.

Since 2006 more than 120, 000 young people have come to headspace centres around Australia for support.

Ms Burton also commended Mayor Paul Antonio for his “unwavering support” and commitment to young people in the region.

“Today (the launch) demonstrates the strength and support in the community for those who need a hand up,” Cr Antonio said.

“There are a lot of services for young people in Toowoomba. Headspace is probably more inclined to bring a lot of that together.

“It not only adds (to services) but provides an option for young people.

“Youth are our most precious asset and for a long-time there haven’t been the discussions or services we have now.”

The centre is exciting in its setup.

Rooms have quirky addresses like Dr Seuss Drive; the colourful rooms naturally create comfort and appeal. Headspace will assist with alcohol and other drug problems, employment and education support and information for young people and parents.

The centre will be open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

This article first appeared on ‘The Chronicle’ on 22 September 2015.


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