New centre to help Tassie youth
CAITLIN HEATHCOTE | The Adovcate | Aug. 15, 2013, midnight
WHEN Launceston resident Garrison Lewandowski was a teenager he could not command the attention of his school mates.
Yesterday, Mr Lewandowski commanded the attention of an entire room of politicians, local alderman and other distinguished guests as he recounted his own experience with Headspace Launceston at the official launch and opening of its sister branch, The Junction, in Devonport.
Mr Lewandowski said a move to Mowbray and subsequent schooling, where he was treated as an outcast, was the catalyst for his destructive behaviour, which started with self harm and ended with a $1000 a day methamphetamine [meth] habit.
"I decided that I needed to get out of Launceston and moved to Perth, Western Australia, where, by chance, I moved into a nice suburb, in a nice street, next to a nice house with nice neighbours who cooked nice meth," Mr Lewandowski said.
"I was just sitting for 12 hours a day smoking from a light bulb and when I ran out [of meth] I sold my new TV that I'd only bought the week before."
The Junction, formerly known as The Zone, in Stewart Street, Devonport is a collaboration between Headspace, Corner Stone Youth Services, Youth and Family Focus and the Devonport City Council.
The facility officially threw open its doors to the young people in the region yesterday.
The centre was officially opened by Federal Minister Health Tanya Plibersek and Braddon MHA Sid Sidebottom who both commended Mr Lewandowski as a shining example of the kinds of services that this new facility would be able to offer to the young people of the region.
"A lot of people say that young people are our future, but they're not, they are our present," Ms Plibersek said.
Devonport Mayor Steve Martin said it was important to provide young people with the types of services they need to help them through what is a very complicated period in their life.
The Junction, formerly The Zone, is located at 64 Stewart Street, Devonport.
Visit www.headspace.org.au for information on the mental health services The Junction will offer.
Courtesy of The Adovcate