OPENING an eagerly-awaited Headspace centre in the heart of town, symbolises a new dawn for those supporting youth mental health issues in the Hastings.
Youth of Port Macquarie finally have a safe place to turn to, regardless of just how big or small their problems are.
From speaking about issues of self-harm, to seeing a doctor about your sexual health, Headspace is a centre with open arms for anyone aged 12-25.
The Short Street facility will have an holistic approach to caring for youth of our community, by incorporating services to address physical, mental, social and substance abuse issues.
Port Macquarie Headspace service manager David Allen said Headspace was particularly unique for the innovative way it was designed – by the youth, for the youth.
“They are the clients and it is very important for us to be attuned to their specific needs.”
“We are very much trying to move away from a clinical environment. We don’t want them to feel like they are going to a dentist.”
A passionate local Youth Reference Group oversaw aspects of the building design and service delivery to ensure the centre would live up to its aims.
Stereotypes are thrown by the way-side at the local centre.
Typically white, sterile offices are replaced with splashes of bright colour, comfortable furniture and themed rooms - creating an inviting and friendly space for young people seeking support.
At Port Macquarie the centre would have a strong emphasis on things like social inclusion: “In a regional setting it can often be hard for young people to feel connected with the community,” Mr Allen said.
In the past three weeks, the staff of Headspace have dealt with a range of vastly different problems, always dependent on the individual.
But Headspace does not discriminate, and accepts any young person who would like to speak about any aspect of their lives.
Many local young people have already made use of the facility.
“The whole thing has gone better than we had dared hope,” Mr Allen said.
“We’ve been coping with the demand, but everyday is getting a little bit busier.”
Headspace offers free help and support in a completely confidential and safe environment for local young people aged 12-25.
VIDEO: Phil Jamieson jams at the opening of Headspace last week.
If you need someone to talk to, or if you would like to make an appointment with the centre’s GP, just walk right in at the centre on 10-12 Short Street, Port Macquarie.