'Kids are slipping through the gaps': Roseberry Gladstone

THE divide between servicing people with mental illness in Gladstone and Brisbane is stark and perhaps, too often, taken as a given.

It requires a fine balance to take care of those who are in need of help the most, and at Roseberry Community Services, they take in the most vulnerable.

But with more than 150 clients between the ages of 12 and 18, Roseberry supervisor Channara Emmerton said even with double the number of staff, they'd still be struggling to keep up with demand.

STOPPING THE FREE FALL: Channara Emmerton, Kate Brodie and Linda Tyghe on the steps of Roseberry Community House. Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer
STOPPING THE FREE FALL: Channara Emmerton, Kate Brodie and Linda Tyghe on the steps of Roseberry Community House. Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer Declan Cooley

"We do what we do with what we've got, but there would always be room [to warrant more service providers in town]," Ms Emmerton said.

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"There are kids still slipping through the gaps.

"We've got a fantastic team and we try our hardest to meet the needs, but we've got people in Mt Larcom, Rosedale, out past Calliope, and even kids in Miriam Vale who are constantly missing out," she said.

Ms Emmerton said the problems facing people who live with mental illness can be simple, like not having transport to get around to appointments.

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However, the biggest problems in her opinion, revolve around the small numbers of psychologists and psychiatrists, in the region and the high costs in seeking their help, a lack of assistance for the more moderate mental health concerns and the total lack of services that look after people once they are older than 25-years-old.

READY TO HELP: The crew at headspace in Gladstone are calling on fathers to engage with their sons over mental health challenges. Contributed.
READY TO HELP: The crew at headspace in Gladstone are calling on fathers to engage with their sons over mental health challenges. Contributed. Declan Cooley

"They need a service that is there for the long term…we're here only for the short term," Ms Emmerton said.

"In Gladstone it is difficult for young people to see a psychologist here, however they can use our services which is great, but if they want to see someone privately it is limited and costly.

"It's hard to say if we're getting a fair go because we have just lost Gladstone Psychology Link, which was a huge assistance because our kids could Skype with a registered psychologist, but now we've got Headspace," she said.

Headspace has just opened in Gladstone and services people aged up to 25 years old.

Ms Emmerton said a lot of young people travel to see specialists in other regions, but she felt with Headspace now open more may stay here.

"Things are moving in the right direction," she said.



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