Relationship Australia Victoria (RAV) was selected by Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) as the lead agency for the new headspace centre, which provides free or low cost confidential mental, general and sexual health services as well as education and employment, and alcohol and other drug support services. The comprehensive suite of services includes therapeutic, drug and alcohol counselling, psychiatric consultations, vocational guidance, help with job seeking as well as health and wellbeing services for all young people, including young people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) young people.
The official launch of headspace Bairnsdale, which took place on Friday 7 April, was well-attended, with local community leaders, headspace staff, consortium partners and other local service providers showing their support for the new centre. The launch also attracted young people, including members of the centre’s Youth Advisory Group, who have provided direct input to ensure that the centre and services are relevant and inclusive to young people.
The official launch began with a Welcome to Country from Grattan Mullett Senior, before headspace Bairnsdale’s Independent Chair, Dr Mayumi Purvis, and Independent Co-Chair, Kimberley Matthews, spoke about their role in the centre and introduced the guest speakers. Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) CEO, Ms Marianne Shearer; headspace CEO, Jason Trethowan; RAV CEO, Dr Andrew Bickerdike; and The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Member for Gippsland; all highlighted the importance of early intervention mental health services in supporting young people to seek help early, achieve their goals and reach their potential.
RAV CEO, Dr Andrew Bickerdike, also talked about RAV’s history of supporting the East Gippsland community and how proud RAV is to be involved in headspace Bairnsdale.
After the formalities, guests enjoyed morning tea, toured the centre and talked to staff. Attendees also visited the nearby gardens to enjoy a music and art event, held as part of National Youth Week.
For more information on headspace Bairnsdale, visit headspace.org.au/bairnsdale.
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