headspace Dubbo expanding its services for young clients and families

BIRTHDAY PARTY: Christina Rodgers, Kailey Thomas, Emerson Hartley, Paul Rich, Rachel Thomas, Nic Steepe, Melanie Tonniges and Annie Hartley party in 2016.

BIRTHDAY PARTY: Christina Rodgers, Kailey Thomas, Emerson Hartley, Paul Rich, Rachel Thomas, Nic Steepe, Melanie Tonniges and Annie Hartley party in 2016.

A new priority for headspace Dubbo is helping youth and young adults find and keep jobs.

It has been expanding its services in the past year to include the Individual Placement Support program that assists clients in achieving long-term employment.

Clients have been able to get free legal advice this year through a partnership between headspace Dubbo and Legal Aid.  

“Single session family consultations” have also been introduced since headspace Dubbo staff, clients and supporters celebrated its first birthday in April 2016 at a carnival-themed party.

They will come together again on Saturday to mark its second birthday at a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Macquarie Lions Park.

In the lead-up to the party headspace Dubbo’s program manager Rachel Thomas has revealed the delivery of services to 1500 young people and their families, and visits to more than  120 schools and businesses to “break down the stigmas associated with mental health”.

She said headspace Dubbo had conducted more than 500 community development activities and mental health literacy presentations to schools, services and business in Dubbo and across the Central West.

“Our presence is growing and growing, and that’s exactly what we want,” Ms Thomas said.“We want the community to recognise headspace Dubbo as a safe space for young people. We want the community to talk about and understand mental health. This is the reason we do what we do and this birthday is a chance to further raise our profile and also say thank you to the community for embracing us and the work we do.”

A youth reference group is helping organise Saturday’s party with Dubbo businesses donating prizes and materials, including Etcher Dubbo and Cant Bros Home Timber and Hardware. Other major sponors of the event are Seth Toomey from the Mid Lachlan Aboriginal Housing Management Cooperative and the Regional Australia Bank. The party, from 10am to 1pm, will include fun activities, speeches and the cutting of a birthday cake.

The federal government funds headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Its centres, across metropolitan, regional and rural Australia, offer “early intervention” services to children and young adults aged from 12 to 25 years.  Marathon Health operates headspace Dubbo with its funding administered by the Western NSW Primary Health Network.

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