Community support needed to secure Headspace funding
MENTAL health service Headspace could be on its way for Gladstone's youth if the community gets behind a campaign to collect the 10,000 signatures needed to secure Federal Government funding.
Gladstone's Youth Interagency and Central Queensland Medicare Local are behind the push for the hub to provide support for young people dealing with mental illness, bullying, domestic violence and homelessness.
CQ Medicare Local's Tania Manser said the need for a dedicated centre was identified by local service providers, who had seen increased rates of depression, suicide and couch surfing among Gladstone's young people.
According to the 2011 Census, the Gladstone region's population was identified as 59,402 with a youth population (residents aged between 12 and 18 years) of about 10%.
This proportion is higher than the average Queensland youth population.
The Headspace 4 Gladstone group said the lack of mental health services for young people in the region and the growing needs and issues with young people in Gladstone was concerning.
This included substance misuse, unstable home environments (resulting in couch surfing), low self esteem, suicide and an increase in family breakdowns.
The closest Headspace is in Rockhampton, which is inaccessible to young people because of a lack of public transport options.
Headspace is run by the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.
Established in 2006 with funding from the Commonwealth Government, Headspace is a world-first initiative that fills a gap in the system by treating young people who have mild to moderate mental health issues.
Former Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry is a board member and public supporter of the initiative.
People can sign the petition online at www.headspace4gladstone.com.