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Push for Headspace gains ground as students offer support

Toolooa State High School students Asha Carlyon, 13, and Mikalah Howard, 13, are among those who support having a Headspace centre in Gladstone.
Toolooa State High School students Asha Carlyon, 13, and Mikalah Howard, 13, are among those who support having a Headspace centre in Gladstone. Brenda Strong

THE campaign to have the mental health hub Headspace brought to Gladstone has turned its attention to those who will be affected the most - the city's youth.

Toolooa State High students planted around 300 green heads into their school oval yesterday to learn about Headspace and raise awareness of the campaign.

Asha Carlyon and Mikalah Howard, both 13, didn't know what Headspace was when they arrived at school on Monday morning, but they quickly threw their support behind the idea.

"It would really help the community and it's really good for kids that feel they can't talk to their parents or family members," Mikalah said.

"It helps to let them know that they are not alone and that there are people out there that care about them."

Asha said Headspace's drop-in feature would be good for those needing immediate help.

"In Gladstone you have to make an appointment, and it might be too late…it might get worse and worse whereas with Headspace, you can just go in," she said.

"If you are thinking of committing suicide or self-harm, then it can happen between the point when you think about it and the point where you actually get to the appointment," added Mikalah.

CQ Medicare Local director of strategy and new business Tania Manser said a petition currently had more than 5000 signatures, urging federal health minister Peter Dutton to include Gladstone in the next round Headspace centres, expected to be announced in May.

Topics:  gladstone headspace mental health peter dutton youth



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