New headspace centre opens in Parramatta
Young people living in Western Sydney will now be able to benefit from improved mental health services following the opening of a new headspace centre in Parramatta.
The Parramatta centre is the 31st headspace shopfront to open in Australia, with 90 sites expected to be fully established around the country by 2014-15 following $197.3 million funding from the Federal Government over five years.
It is expected that by then the centres will be helping up to 72,000 young people aged 12-25 each year.
Minister for Mental Health and Mark Butler said that mental health was the single biggest health issue facing young Australians.
“In any given year, 1 in 4 young people will experience a mental health issue,” he said.
“Without the right care and support, mental illness can interrupt schooling, affect employment, impact relationships and in some cases, lead to substance abuse.”
The Parramatta headspace will be open weekdays 9am-5pm and will provide holistic care in areas such as mental health, physical health, alcohol and drug use as well as social and vocational support.
Parramatta MP Julie Owens said the impact of the new headspace centre would be immediate.
“We’ll be able to improve access to mental health care and related drug and alcohol services for local young people, aged between 12 and 25,” Owens said.
“The new headspace will give young people in Parramatta the help they need to get back on their feet, get through tough times and fulfil their potential.”
Meanwhile, new headspace ambassador, the openly gay former hockey goalkeeper, Gus Johnston, has written his first blog post for the mental health organisation’s website this week.
Discussing actor and comic Magda Szubanski’s recent public coming out, Johnston said the process had more to do with honesty and courage rather than one’s sexuality.
“Magda hasn’t just told us that she’s ‘gay’, she’s told us ‘this is who I am and I will NOT apologise’. Whether gay, straight, tall, short, skinny, fat, male or female, I reckon that’s something we should all aspire to,” Johnston wrote.
“To have the courage to open our hearts and feel a sense of vulnerability when our society dictates that we should be strong and stoic. To open ourselves to criticism when we don’t fit the mould, to simply be true to ourselves. Because, this is what ‘coming out’ is all about.”