6 August 2018
Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has been selected as the lead agency to establish and deliver headspace services for Bass Coast and South Gippsland in Victoria.
The new services will support young people aged 12 to 25 years with, or at risk of, mild to moderate mental illness, through a comprehensive suite of early intervention mental health services. The services will be provided from a central hub in Wonthaggi, and the four existing Youth Access Clinics in Foster, Korumburra, Leongatha and Wonthaggi. An additional Youth Assist Clinic will be established on Phillip Island.
Free or low cost mental, general and sexual health services as well as education and employment, and alcohol and other drug support services will be provided. The confidential services will include sexual assault counselling, group work, disability support, family counselling, vocational guidance and assistance with job seeking.
The services will be accessible, youth-friendly and integrated to provide mental health, general health, alcohol and other drug, and vocational support to young people. There will be a focus on reducing barriers that may prevent help-seeking and facilitating early access to services that meet the holistic needs of young people. RAV Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Bickerdike, said that RAV has 70 years’ experience providing family and relationship support services, and provides a range of mental health services to support young people and families with issues affecting their wellbeing and relationships.
“We are the lead agency for the headspace centre in Bairnsdale, in East Gippsland, and since 2014 have been providing i-Connect, a Family Mental Health Support Service for young people in East Gippsland who are at risk of, or affected by mental health issues,” Dr Bickerdike said.
“Early intervention mental health services play a crucial role in healthy communities and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide young people in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland areas with access to high quality support services.”
Recognising the diverse needs of the communities in the area, the headspace services will be provided in partnership with a consortium of local agencies.
“We look forward to working with our valued and experienced consortium partners to support young people and their families with issues affecting their wellbeing and relationships,” Dr Bickerdike said.
Ms Marianne Shearer, Chief Executive Officer of contract manager Gippsland Primary Health Network said she is delighted to have RAV lead the new services in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland region.
headspace has over 100 centres currently operating across Australia and also operates an online and telephone service, eheadspace. headspace has provided over two million services (centres, online and phone) helping 355,000 young people.
The headspace hub site in Wonthaggi and the Phillip Island Youth Access Clinic are scheduled to be operational in late 2018.
Media contact: Kylie Lancaster, Acting Senior Manager Gippsland, (03) 8573 2242
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