Youth mental health service receives $130k expansion boost
FEDERAL funding of $130,000 will allow Grafton Headspace to expand to the Lower Clarence and ensure equality of service throughout the Clarence Valley.
Yesterday North Coast Public Health Network announced it had increased the funding to allow GenHealth, the organisation that runs Headspace Grafton, to establish outreach centres in Yamba, Maclean and lluka next year.
Headspace Grafton manager Jason Grimes said the boost for an already successful service was in the the words of US President John F Kennedy, "repairing the roof while the sun was shining”.
Mr Grimes said JFK's words perfectly described the opportunity for Headspace to reach out to the Lower Clarence almost a year to the day since the service opened.
"We are a service measured in hindsight,” he said. "Like the people who work on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, when a year's work rolls around, we start all over again.”
Member for Page Kevin Hogan also noted the Headspace anniversaries.
"In 2015, I well remember attending a public meeting to discuss what appeared to be a cluster of tragedies in Grafton of young people taking their own lives,” he said.
"Two years later on December 18, I was driving down to Grafton to open Headspace and it occurred to me it was exactly two years to the day after that meeting.
"And if this announcement had been held next week, it would have been another milestone on December 18.”
Headspace community engagement manager Mark McGrath said the outreach centres in the Lower Clarence would ensure equitable service delivery across the Lower Clarence.
"What we need to do next is establish what types of service the communities need,” he said. "We will consult with the communities so we can prepare the packages of services they need.”
The Yamba service started in September at the Raymond Laurie Sports Centre and also services the Iluka community. It operated on Mondays between 9am and 3pm. The weekly Maclean service would start in February at the Wherrett Park Sports Centre.