headspace National and headspace Maitland have released a report on youth engagement in the mental and health wellbeing support service, highlighting that participation from young people in the Hunter region has increased over the last twelve months.
The report presents a snapshot of centre performance against national averages, and shows that headspace Maitland is achieving well in terms of fulfilling the objectives of the service and supporting young people in our community.
“Demand for youth support services is high- higher than we have seen in the past. We think this is a positive indication that negative stigma around mental health is declining, and also that awareness of the services we provide has increased,” Felicity Scott, Clinical and Service Integration Manager at headspace Maitland, said.
The service has reported that a number of fatal accidents and youth suicides across the Hunter have led to an increased number of youth seeking support. There is also a growing number of youth experiencing homelessness.
headspace provides community education and awareness programs through schools and events, and has found that peer referral to the service is also growing.
“We always see a spike in referrals to our service around the beginning of the year as young people go back to school, and the report shows that we provided services at unprecedented levels as HSC exam time rolled around in 2015,” Ms. Scott said.
headspace has positive relationships with clinical support services to ensure that young people can easily access a range of care in the one location, including GP’s, psychologists, Centrelink, Indigenous support, homelessness services and sexual health clinics.
“We are really proud of the awareness and engagement that headspace Maitland has developed in the community. We have worked hard to create a youth-friendly, safe and supportive space that young people are comfortable coming to; that’s a real positive for youth mental health in the region,” Ms. Scott said.
headspace Maitland is a youth mental health support service auspiced by the Samaritans.