(Back row) Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies, The New School of Arts president Avery Brown, Clarence Youth Action's Jeremy Jablonski and New School of Arts general manager Skye Sear at the announcement of $170,000 of NSW Government funding for youth safe spaces in Grafton and the Lower Clarence.
(Back row) Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies, The New School of Arts president Avery Brown, Clarence Youth Action's Jeremy Jablonski and New School of Arts general manager Skye Sear at the announcement of $170,000 of NSW Government funding for youth safe spaces in Grafton and the Lower Clarence.

Safe space announced for Clarence Valley youths

THE NSW Government has today announced funding for The New School of Arts to operate pop-up Youth and Community Drop-In spaces in Grafton and the Maclean and Yamba area from next year while long-term projects like Headspace are established.

Minister for Mental Health, Tanya Davies, visited Grafton today to make the announcement to establish 'safe spaces' to improve mental health and wellbeing for vulnerable people in the Clarence Valley.

Mrs Davies said the NSW Government is committed to tackling the rise in suicides across the Clarence Valley.

"These spaces will provide access to quality health and well-being information, support and referrals to local services and programs, and spaces to hold meetings, support groups, community activities and events," Mrs Davies said.

The NSW Government also supports other initiatives in the region, including a mental health worker as part of the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program. This role helps sporting and local work groups gain a better understanding of mental health issues and how they can respond to people who need help.

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said these safe spaces will be operated by highly-skilled community services professionals, supported by teams of specially-trained volunteers to provide support to young people and their families.

"In addition to providing a visible safe space for young people, their families and other isolated members within our community The New School of Arts will also provide information and support services via telephone and social media," he said.

"These safe spaces are part of the Our Healthy Clarence initiative made up of local organisations, community groups and individuals. Our community is working to ensure young people know there are safe places they can go to access support."

A Mental Health Emergency Care Rural Assessment Program has also been established at Grafton Base Hospital Emergency Department so staff can access mental health expertise via video-link. Work is currently underway to establish the same program at the Maclean District Hospital Emergency Department.

People experiencing mental health difficulties in the Clarence Valley are urged to phone the Mental Health Access Line on 1800 011 511, 24 hours, seven days a week.

Alternatively, phone: 

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 
  • The Family and Carer Mental Health Support Program (Mission Australia) on 6658 7831 
  • The Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation (Grafton) weekdays on 6643 2199 
  • The Grafton Mental Health Family and Carers support group on 6649 3660 
  • The StandBy Response Service on 0417 119 298 (available 24 hours, seven days a week)
Headspace announced for Grafton: FEDERAL Minister for Health Greg Hunt has announced vital mental health services including a Headspace facility for Grafton.
Headspace announced for Grafton: FEDERAL Minister for Health Greg Hunt has announced vital mental health services including a Headspace facility for Grafton.