Emerald will soon be home to a stand-alone headspace centre. Picture: Wesley Monts
Emerald will soon be home to a stand-alone headspace centre. Picture: Wesley Monts

Green light for Emerald headspace

EMERALD will soon be home to a stand-alone headspace centre, as part of a $64 million Liberal Nationals Government package for suicide prevention and mental health initiatives.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the headspace centre, which could be operational by the end of the year, will provide tailored and holistic mental health support to 12-25-year olds.

“There are more pressures on young people today than ever before and the establishment of this headspace is so important in providing needed services in our region,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“With fires, floods and drought crippling our rural communities like Emerald, most of us think of this as just adult problems, however, these effect the family unit as whole.

“I want our young people to know they are not alone on their journey and that headspace is there to deliver quality frontline support and co-ordinate the right interventions for people who are at risk.

“Early intervention is absolutely critical to helping young people with mental health issues.”

In Australia in 2018, more than 3000 people died by suicide with suicide accounting for more than one-third of all deaths (38.4%) among those aged 15-24.

Commonwealth-funded commissioning agency Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN CEO Pattie Hudson said the government’s mental health package would provide a significant boost to vital service delivery in the region.

“The PHN’s mental health team has been working hard to establish a satellite headspace in Emerald and we’re thrilled the funding has been made available to expand that to a full-size, stand-alone headspace centre,” Mrs Hudson said.

“There’s been a great deal of support from residents for a full-sized headspace in Emerald and we look forward to collaborating with the community to build a service that suits their needs.

“Having a dedicated centre for the first time means young people, and their families, will be able to access support services in a space to call their own.

“It also means headspace Emerald staff will be able to share their knowledge and skills with the surrounding rural and remote communities by delivering outreach programs and offsite visits.”

Best known for coal mining operations in the surrounding areas, Emerald is a rural town at the heart of the Central Highlands and home to an urban population of more than 14,000 residents.

Headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said the announcement of the full-service headspace Emerald is a step in the right direction to ensure young people in rural and remote communities have access to the support they need.

“We know it’s much harder for young people to access mental health services in rural and remote parts of Australia,” Mr Trethowan said.

“Expanded headspace services like this one in Emerald will go a long way to ensure young people across the region can get the specific youth friendly support they need to help them get back on track.”

Visit the headspace website for more details.

If you or someone you love needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.


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