Gippsland Primary Health network is pleased to announce that Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has been selected as the lead agency for a newly announced headspace centre in Bairnsdale in Victoria.
Ms Marianne Shearer, Chief Executive Officer of Gippsland PHN is excited to see the development of headspace in Bairnsdale. Ms Shearer said “it will be of great benefit for the community offering youth focussed mental health services. The East Gippsland community have passionately advocated for a service for their young people and it’s fantastic that we are able to assist it to come to fruition.”
The new centre will provide early intervention mental health services to young people aged 12 to 25 years in East Gippsland. They will have access to free or low cost and 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 will include therapeutic, financial, and drug and alcohol counselling, psychiatric consultations, vocational guidance, help with job seeking and health and wellbeing services for Aboriginal young people.
With more than 68 years’ experience, RAV provides family and relationship support services to help Victorians to achieve positive, safe and respectful relationships.
RAV Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Bickerdike, said RAV had a strong history of providing mental health services and supporting young people and families with issues affecting their wellbeing and relationships.
“We have established relationships with headspace centres in Hawthorn, Greensborough and Knox, and provide an existing family mental health support service for children and young people in East Gippsland,” Dr Bickerdike said. “We know how important early intervention mental health services are and we welcome the opportunity to continue to support young people in a dedicated way through the headspace centre in Bairnsdale.”
With a focus on meeting the local needs of the rural community, the centre will be supported by contract manager Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) and operated in partnership with a consortium of local services: Latrobe Regional Hospital, within Australia, Australian Community Support Organisation, Latrobe Community Health Service, Gippsland Lakes Community Health, MIND Australia, Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Operative, and Advanced Personnel Management.
Dr Bickerdike said that a Youth Advisory Group had also been established to enable young people to have direct input into the development of the centre and to ensure that the services are provided to young people in a welcoming, supportive, accessible and inclusive way.
“We’re pleased to have a group of enthusiastic and energetic young people involved in establishing the centre, and we look forward to working closely with these young people, our consortium members and the East Gippsland community in providing the headspace Bairnsdale centre.”
headspace has 95 centres currently operating across Australia and also operates an online and telephone service, eheadspace. More than 270,000 young Australians have come to headspace for support, guidance or help over the past 10 years.
headspace gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from Gippsland PHN and the Department of Health.
headspace Bairnsdale is scheduled to open in early 2017.
Media contact: Jo Huggins, Senior Manager Gippsland, 0448 558 708
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