Therapies — 16 September 2013

HEADSPACE is coming to Rockhampton in a huge boost to mental health services for young people.

The Rockhampton centre will be a consortium led by Medicare Local and managed by former CQUniversity lecturer, Simon Burgess.

He said the centre would be open by January 1 or earlier, “if a lot of ducks lined up before then”. bigstock-Teenage-Couple-Taking-Drugs-At-13909049

Headspace is designed to help young people aged 12-25 who are going through a tough time by providing support for problems like depression, anxiety, bullying and body image.

Among its ambassadors is TV personality Ruby Rose who four months ago cancelled part of a tour to concentrate on winning her own battle with depression.

Rose told Cleo magazine she had been sexually abused by a family member and began having suicidal thoughts at age 12.

“That is why I work so closely with Headspace and the government on bullying.

“I believe it’s the secrets that keep us sick … reaching out is so important when you feel alone,” she said.

Headspace is an initiative of Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, and was the brain child of former Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry.

It will run as a not-for-profit social enterprise with a café to serve the centre and for hospitality training.

Funded by the Federal Government, Mr Burgess said Headspace had good bipartisan support.

“Headspace works to destigmatise mental health and is about early intervention,” he said.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel … there’s a diverse range of professional organisations working together to a common goal.”

The centre will be staffed with doctors, youth workers, social workers and mental health nurses and also acts as a co-ordination and referral centre. Young people are encouraged to become part of a reference group to help design and input into the centre.

A group of 12 young people aged 16-20, and some of their parents, made a valuable contribution to the practical design and layout of the centre in 155 Alma St when the invitation was extended last week.

“They had a lot of good ideas, like asking to have a shower and laundry included,” Mr Burgess said.

A Facebook page is being established, which will allow young people to be part of the process without being directly involved in the reference group.

Anyone who would like to know more or become involved can contact Simon at [email protected]

First appeared on the Central Telegraph website on 16 September, 2013.



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