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HELP IS AT HAND: Encouraging people to seek support from headspace is headspace Devonport youth health practitioner Claire Stucas. Picture: Meg Windram.

Initiative achieving its aim

HOLLY MONERY | The Adovcate | 13 Feb 2014

Headspace gives early access for mental health

EXPANSION of some headspace services is needed to fully support youth mental health, suggests research published in the Medical Journal of Australia.The report said the headspace initiative is mostly achieving its aim to improve early access for youth in the development of mental health issues, but demographic data of clients show there is scope for more services. Almost two-thirds of headspace clients are female and 71.6 per cent of people who present to centres were having problems with how they felt. More than half had high or very high levels of psychological distress. With the high volume of young people with mental health issues presenting to headspace, the research shows more qualified clinicians are needed for formal diagnosis in the centres. A spokesperson from headspace said the workforce had been identified as a priority and it would soon employ a national workforce specialist to ensure long term sustainability. Additionally, the report recommends that headspace needs to respond more effectively to mental health in young men, which typically manifests through substance abuse and behavioral problems, conditions which can mask underlying emotional disorders. ‘‘We know young men are a hard to reach group and are less likely to get professional support for their problems. ‘‘We have a number of campaigns that are designed to reach young men, including our national awareness campaign which is heavily skewed towards young males and the issues they face,’’ the headspace spokesperson said. ‘‘We also reach young men through our involvement with events like Big Day Out and sporting organisations, like our recent partnership with the Big Bash team, the Melbourne Stars.’’ Cornerstone Youth Services delivers headspace in Devonport, which opened in July, 2013. Its chief executive officer, Cate Sinclair, said services such as GP referrals and alcohol and substance abuse support are available. ‘‘Because it’s a free, confidential drop-in centre it’s a bit of a different model to what young people are used to, but we’re starting to leverage really strong relationships with schools to drive awareness,’’ she said. ■ Every Thursday is intake day a t Devonport headspace, 64 Stewart Street. Between 9am and 5pm anyone aged 12-25 interested in headspace and its services can drop in without an appointment for a chat or referral.

Courtesy of The Adovcate

Launceston

Cnr Wellington & Brisbane St or PO Box 7513
Launceston, Tasmania, 7250
Phone: 03 6335 3100
Fax: 03 6335 3127
Opening Hours:
Monday 9-5pm, Tues 12-5pm Wednesday to Friday 9-5pm

Devonport

64 Stewart St or PO Box 27
Devonport, Tasmania, 7310
Phone: 03 6424 2144
Fax: 03 6424 6102
Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: by appointment, Tuesday: by appointment between (1:30-3:30pm) Thursday: Intake (drop in service)

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